• TrueAndLiving

    Song of Solomon 5:6

    I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

Peter and “You”

In my experience, the common teaching about the matter of Simon Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus is that Satan asked specifically to sift Simon Peter like wheat. Anyone not reading an English translation of the Bible that doesn’t properly use the Elizabethan English of the King James Bible or Young’s Literal Translation would miss an important point and go on thinking that Satan’s desire in this particular passage stops at Peter. It doesn’t. Let’s examine the passage more closely.

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat:” (Luke 22:31)

Here Jesus speaks to Simon using the word “you.” In the old English, the words “you” and “ye” refer to the plural second person. If Jesus had meant to speak of Peter alone in this verse, He would have used the word “thee” instead. He does use that word in the following verse.

“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32)

This verse uses the singular second person, the words “thou” and “thee.” I believe the lesson here is that Satan has desired all believers, not just Simon Peter. Some might argue that Jesus was referring to the disciples only, but that would be like saying that Paul was only talking to the Philippian jailer when he told him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy house.”

Jesus implies by the context and word usage that Satan has desired to have all believers, whether converted yet or not, to sift them like wheat. The sifting is obviously not a good thing for the unsuspecting elected person; we know this simply because it was Satan who made the request. There’s our foundation; if Satan desires it, it must be evil. This is at least partly why God warns:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)

And:

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11)

Our task as believers is to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ, whether or not they have been converted yet, that is experienced the new birth yet. Since we cannot know whom God has elected to salvation before the fact, we must give everyone we can the healing water of the Scriptures.

“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17)

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