The Afterward of Failure

“For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again…”

 Proverbs 24:16

There’s an old saying that goes, “failure is never final” at least not in the Lord for the simple fact that Jesus has the final say, the final word on everything. Because Jesus is God He knew the thoughts of His disciples even before they themselves. He knows our frailties, and inadequacies, shortcomings and sin. No one knows us like Jesus and it’s just as true that no one loves us like Jesus. If there is anything I have leaned in all my years of knowing the Lord is, “never say never” as I know I am capable of just about anything at any given moment in time. Just like the disciples then, I am more than able of betraying the Lord even now and is why like the apostle Paul I choose to say, “for the grace of God go I.” We do well to remember we are not saved from our sin by sinning less. We are saved from sin because Jesus knows we are incapable apart from Him to ever stop sinning. So then, we are saved not because of what we do but rather what Jesus has done. I am saved not because of who I am but rather who Jesus is and whose I am. Being bought at a price you and belong to God.

The setting of the story of the Last Supper and the events that follow places us just a couple of days before Jesus is going to die on the Cross for the sins of the world. Following Judas betrayal and after the dinner Jesus lets His disciples know that not just Judas but that all of the remaining disciples are about to do what in their minds is the unthinkable as each of them will forsake the Lord as one by one they will stumble because of what Jesus is going to suffer through. Their lack of knowledge as to God’s eternal plan is going to become a stumbling block before them. They were certain Jesus had come to deliver them from the tyranny of the Roman government and the corrupt Jewish leaders. They didn’t know or could they comprehend that the kingdom Jesus came to establish was a spiritual kingdom that was going to be established in full on earth one day. They were short sided not understanding the plan of God.  

Jesus knowing in advance that His disciples would betray Him, was preparing them by sharing the news with them in advance. As the God of mercy and grace Jesus was letting them know that their failure wasn’t final and that there would be an afterwards to their failure when Jesus rose again in just a few days. Judas on the other hand, his betrayal was final because Judas betrayal was based on his belief that Jesus was not enough. Judas had become disappointed with Jesus in that Jesus was not going to over throw the world in Judas time frame. Instead of trusting Jesus, Judas sought to force Jesus hand. When things didn’t go according to Judas plan, he sought how he might betray the Lord and in the end his frustration led to remorse and shame culminated in the taking of his own life, the ultimate failure.

Just as Jesus said would happen Peter led the way in denying the Lord. Not once or twice but three times in a single night. The rest of the disciples after Jesus was arrested and taken away scattered like sheep without a shepherd exactly as Jesus predicted. All forsook Jesus and out of fear hid themselves away. The Good News of the Gospel we learn occurs when Jesus rose from the dead. The angels instructions to the women was to go tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus had risen just like He said He would. Peter, who was singled out for his betrayal of Jesus just a few days before was now being singled out by the angel of the Lord for a complete and full restoration. When Jesus is there on the seashore as Peter and the other disciples are out in the boat Jesus prepares breakfast for them and calls them to come and eat. As Peter recognizes the Lord’s voice he flings himself overboard and swims to shore. Its there by that fire feeling like a fool in his failure that Jesus, not one, not twice but three times, seeks to restore Peter. At every point of failure and betrayal, Jesus is there to offer hope and restoration.

What Jesus did for Peter, Jesus offers to me and you today. There can be an afterward to failure. We can all fall forward because of Jesus! Have you made a vow and broke it before the Lord? Can you admit that you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? If so there is hope for you my friend. Jesus knew in advance the level of our commitment to Him and it had nothing to do to detour Jesus from being completely and utterly committed to us! God majors in restorations, as the God of grace He offers us the second, third and forth chance because He who promised is faithful.

“…But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more”

Romans 5:20


Michael Osthimer





no categories


no tags