Looking unto Jesus — chapter by chapter

Falling, Failing & Finishing Strong

Therefore brethren, be more diligent to make your call and election sure,
for if you do these things you will never stumble [fall- KJV, NIV].
II Peter 1:10

Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble
[fall- NASB, NIV, AMP],
because of Me this night, for it is written…”
Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble [fall- NASB, NIV, AMP]
because of You, I will never be made to stumble.
Matthew 26:31,33

Peter quickly draws his Christian brethren to the very real peril of stumbling or falling in our faith. The author of this letter knew his subject well. The night before His crucifixion, Peter dramatically interrupted Jesus and, seemingly to point at all those around, said “I will never fall.” It was at this point where Jesus responds with the prophetic statement of, “I say to you, that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And what happened? Peter did fall. He fell once, he fell twice and then the third time. The final time the overconfident fisherman being intimidated by a servant girl in the high priest’s courtyard.

Intriguingly, it takes just ten verses for this theme of falling to emerge within the fabric of his letter. Luke (22:32) reveals that in this episode of Jesus foretelling the fall of Peter, He attached the command that upon Peter’s return he was to “strengthen the brethren.” That is exactly what he is doing, for the first recipients of this letter and equally for us today. Remember, this letter is written just a short time before his execution. Peter knows his physical death is very soon. Peter is set to strengthen the brethren. As one experienced, he is encouraging us to move from falling to finishing well. One commentator calls the letter, “Peter’s road map to Heaven.” It confirms that we can have a faith that is not apt to fall. In this Luke 22:31-33 section, Jesus tells Peter that He has been praying for him– especially that his “faith should not fail.” Now, here is the great part… that very same Jesus stands right now at the right hand of God praying for you and me!

The good and encouraging news that you and I can fall and still finish. In fact, we can even finish strong. In spite of our failures, once… twice… and again, we can be used to strengthen the brethren. There is not one of us who cannot be restored. Great regrets we might have, great scars we may exhibit, and yet rescued by Christ!

Peters concludes his first letter on the great note of grace, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”