December 5 - Luke 22:31-38

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Luke 22:31-38 – Sifting by Satan

One thing I have always known is that when it seems as if attacks on ministry increase, there is something on the horizon that is going to be extraordinarily wondrous. This is what we see happening in these stories regarding the disciples. Satan has already taken one of the twelve out and he has begun the process of sifting, attempting to separate the others from each other. They argue more among themselves and now Jesus warns Simon Peter that the man will do something unimaginable before the night has ended. Satan’s attacks are increasing. He threatens the group of disciples and is preparing his greatest attack … on the Messiah.

Jesus calls Peter by his original name as he begins the warning, referring to the weak character the man showed before Jesus changed his life and made him a rock and foundation of the faith. This is a reminder of who Simon was. Three verses later, Jesus uses the name by which he is identified among the faithful … “Peter, you will fail me.”

Satan believes that he has the right to test the faith of everyone, just as he did with Job. Satan believes that at the core of each person’s faith, they are a Judas. This is the sifting he asks for. But while Satan is looking at the disciples’ weakness, Jesus is watching out for them and praying that whatever they do it will not result in an ultimate failure. We are again reminded that there is always an opportunity to come back from failure when we have faith in Jesus.

Jesus has yet another set of instructions for his disciples. From here on out, they will no longer be under the protection of the man who is quite popular among the people. Whereas before he instructed them to go out without a purse a bag or sandals, now they must carry everything they need as well as carry protection. It will no longer be easy for them to move in the world. His popularity will wane and they will be persecuted. They are going to be responsible only for themselves, no one else will take care of them.