And Peter

But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: …. Mark 16:7

I’ve read this passage numerous times and even preached it. However, in 1995, after a devastating trial in my life, I saw something in this verse I’d never seen before. I saw the love, mercy and compassion of Jesus in an absolutely new light. Here’s how it happened.

Somehow, after twenty years of sobriety, I had started drinking again. After twenty years of serving God, preaching His word and building churches, I fell. I bought into the lie that “Christianity confronts culture” and when it does; I should adjust my convictions to match everybody else’s actions. I was in England for the first time and was shocked to find that almost all the people where I was ministering drank alcohol. At first, I was put off, but I didn’t want to offend anyone, so I allowed the leaven of alcohol to come back into my life and cause me to fall. When I fell, the enemy didn’t take me back to where I had been in sin; he took me back farther.

So there I was, broken, ashamed, and even suicidal when God began to slowly draw me back. Until He drew me, I felt like Peter, who had denied Jesus two times and when confronted the third time, he cursed and denied Him again. Peter had sinned and separated himself from the Savior he loved, and so had I. Peter didn’t deserve a second chance and neither did I. Nonetheless, the Lord allowed Mark 16:7 to release me from my bondage of sin and shame. I saw by His Spirit the words “and Peter.” This must be a mistake. The angel said, “Go tell His disciples.” Peter was one of the disciples, so why say “and Peter?” Then I got it. The disciples had scattered, but Peter stayed and openly denied knowing Jesus. To me this verse was saying go tell them all, but make sure you specifically tell Peter that it’s going to be all right. I’m not sure how God did it, but as I read the words again, they were ‘go tell his disciples, and make sure you tell Hal’ that it’s going to be all right. Its taken time, but things are now right with my Lord since I read “and Hal.” Maybe you would like to reread this verse and insert your name. Who knows what might happen.

  Pastor Hal Steenson

June 1993