Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. A powerful example of this is when Jesus said to the disciples, “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for My Father is with Me” (John 16:31). Again on the night of the Lord’s Supper, He said to the disciples “You will all fall away, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'”
Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” Jesus told him that before the rooster crows twice he will deny Him three times. Peter vehemently denied that he would do such a thing. “Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You.” The other disciples said the same thing.
Later that night, when Jesus was arrested, all the disciples deserted Him and fled. Peter denied Jesus three times, cursing and swearing. When the rooster crowed, Peter remembered what Jesus said and he wept bitterly.
Like the disciples we too forsake Jesus to pursue our own interests. And like Peter, we sometimes act as if we don’t know Him. We don’t tell others about Him. We don’t behave as if we are His followers. We don’t want to be different. We want to blend in. But, Jesus wants us to stand out. “If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven. But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32, 33, NLT).
Peter publicly denied Jesus yet he was forgiven because he repented. On Sunday morning, after telling the women that Jesus had risen from the death, the angel instructed them to, “go and tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you” (Mark 16:7, NIV). The angel made a point of mentioning Peter as if to say, he was still one of them. And Jesus did not disown the other disciples because they deserted Him.
There are times when we will act in ways that will surprise us or even upset us but it will not have such an effect on Jesus because He already knows. Nothing we do surprises Him. He knows our thoughts before we have them and our actions before we perform them. But, the wonderful thing about Jesus is that He loves us no matter what. Just as He forgave Peter who was truly sorry for what he did, Jesus will forgive us and openly acknowledge us before the Father.