Sifting Wheat - Thursday April 17, 2014
"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31-32
You could almost feel the tension in the room. It was the last supper and Jesus had some very sobering things to say to His disciples. By reading these verses in a different language recently, I was surprised to discover something which sobered me.
When Jesus said, "Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you", he was not talking only to Peter as appears to be the case in our English translations. Those pronouns are actually plural in the original Greek. Jesus was saying that Satan was targeting all of the disciples. He wants to sift you (all you disciples) like wheat. But I have prayed for you (all you disciples), that your faith may not fail.
But in verse 32 Jesus does talk directly to Peter. "And you (singular), Peter (not all you disciples), when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Jesus knew that all of His disciples, including Peter, would fail and deny Him. All leaders are fallible and will make mistakes. What makes a leader great is not that he never fails, but that when he fails, he gets back up again, and then goes on to strengthen others.
Each of us in some way or another is a leader, whether that be in the home, the workplace, the church, or wherever. May God give us the grace to recover from our failings quickly, so that we may be used by God to strengthen others.
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