The means of discipleship – grace

The Doctor's Life Support for 16 October

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’

John 21: 17

Like Peter, health professionals are often pioneers and leaders. Peter is usually mentioned first when the disciples are listed. It was Peter who first acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, Son of the living God, Peter who walked on water (although briefly!) and Peter who boasted that even if everyone else forsook Jesus, he never would. (Matthew 16: 16; 14: 29; Mark 14: 29) People like Peter get things done. The great danger in Christian discipleship is to get so good at doing things that God is unconsciously left behind. So it was that Peter, as his Master had foreseen, denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed. It’s easily done. A few months ago I was a main speaker at a sponsored weekend for doctors at a smart hotel. During a special dinner, one of the other speakers said to the conference convener, ‘Of course, John is very religious. In fact, he’s a lay preacher, you know.’ As I am a lay preacher, too, I nearly spoke up to say so, but something held me back. Although I justified my silence at the time as discretion, it was actually plain cowardice. I was enjoying the company and wanted to be invited back. Like Peter, I simply didn’t want at that moment to be picked out as a follower of Jesus. It sometimes hurts to face the truth. Even without a direct mention of his denial, how skilfully and graciously the Lord confronted Peter with what he had done and at the same time recommissioned him. If you feel you have failed him, forgiveness and a fresh start are always there for followers of Jesus. What a wonderful means of discipleship is his grace. Drink in it today.

Written by Trevor Stammers from the UK

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