We have here a story about one of Christ’s disciples before he was truly saved. This disciple was named Peter. The Lord had fore knowledge from the devil that he, the devil wanted to destroy (sift) Peter. Our Lord has this fore knowledge about all of His believers. For all practical purposes it was a lost cause for Jesus to fore warn Peter of the devil’s plans for Him. Peter totally ignored all which Jesus relayed to him about the devil’s pending attacks upon him. Like many today who truly love Jesus and want to follow Him, their ego, pride and know-it all-attitude prevents them from hearing Christ when He speaks or call out to them to come closer.
The timing was right for the devil to attack Peter. It was right after our Lord had challenged Judas away from the Communion Supper, then He instituted the Communion Supper in the Upper room. Jesus then intervened in the argument about “who is going to be the greatest when the Lord takes over the world.” It was then our Lord instituted the foot washing tradition to calm down all the raging egos. Our Lord told the disciples that if they were to be leaders of men then they would first have to become servants of men. Our Lord was speaking in the future tense, whereas, the disciples were thinking in the present tense (Luke 22:28-30). The disciple’s egos caused them to have Christ’s true message all mixed up. It only took a moment for the spirituality of the moment to disappear from the disciples. This is still true today, many good believers lose track of their spirituality when they allow their egos to get in the way of Christ’s call upon their lives. In short, the devil was having a field day, so to speak at Jesus’ “last Supper.” We must know that Jesus always had a real spiritual interest in Peter and the other disciples. In earlier times Peter had shown a few signs of leadership. It was for this reason Christ changed Saul’s name to Peter (Rock) indicating the quality of faith He had detected in Peter. Jesus was depending upon Peter to carry the gospel for Him. God’s plan for Peter and the other disciples to spread the Gospel was anticipated by satan. This is why the devil wanted to get to the leader first so as to destroy Peter. The same is true for all of God’s believers today. The devil anticipates that God will use all believers in spreading his goodwill and Gospel. The devil will always set up an attack against you and others so as to discourage believers from carrying the gospel in any way to the lost and others.
And the Lord saw that the devil was attacking His disciples in the Upper room and He cried out to Peter, Simon, Simon! Indeed, satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat, ridicule you, sift you down to nothing, shame you in a sense make you in effective as a disciple, teacher or preacher. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.
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