Interesting paradox. A man who has made God his enemy, that man has a chance with God. A man who admits that he has offended God and has terribly outraged His law, that man has an opportunity to lay hold of the compassion in the Godhead. But conversely the man who refuses to admit his sin, the man who says everything is all right between him and God, the man who recognizes no breach of fellowship between his Creator and himself, that man never hears the word of Christ, “Fear not.”
But let a man once confess that he is a sinner, that he is disobedient, that he is an unbeliever, and that man hears from Christ the word as Peter heard in great mercy, “Fear not.”
Do you know, Jesus Christ showed Himself patient with Peter not only in his original call but also throughout his whole life. Peter, though he showed signs and strokes of brilliance often—he showed in many cases that he had perception above others of the disciples—yet he blundered. In those particular instances, where Jesus Christ singled out these three men to deal with them personally, even on those occasions Peter showed himself misunderstanding, proud, even foolish.
Remember the time when the Lord Jesus was transfigured. The three fishermen, Peter, James, and John, were selected to behold the glory of the Lord. They were taken up into a mountain by Christ Himself, and there they were sleeping. As they were sleeping, all of a sudden there appeared to them two others with the Lord Jesus. They were counseling with Him about His death that He should accomplish at Jerusalem. Remember that as soon as Peter saw them, he blurted out right in the midst of that august company, because he recognized them as Elijah and Moses, “Lord, let us build here three little tabernacles. Let’s keep this thing going, Lord. This is too good to let go. Let’s build three tabernacles, one for You, one for Elijah, and one for Moses. Let us set them up right here. Let’s make this little mountain the throne room of the kingdom. Let’s establish the kingdom right here, in terms of three little tabernacles, Lord, You and these other great prophets.”
It was at that moment God Himself rebuked the apostle Peter, for the Scripture says a great cloud overshadowed them and the voice came from the most high, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” The other two were blotted out, and with the cloud removed they saw no man save Jesus only. Why? Because God will not tolerate comparison with Christ.
~ from “JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks to You, pgs 56-57(ISBN: 9781615797646)
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