A couple of weeks ago I had a devotional entitled “One Little Word” which showed just how important one word can be. Today as we close up the study of Mark’s Gospel, we’re going to see how important two little words can be.
Before we get to that, I’d like to just bring up a little background as a reminder. First, keep in mind that every word, down to the "smallest letter," and "the least stroke of a pen," was planned out and inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s incapable of “small talk.”
All the other Gospels have accounts of the Resurrection, and they all focus on different eyewitness testimony as to what happened. But Mark’s Gospel is unique in just two little words, and they made all the difference in the world to one man in particular.
This man had been one of the closest confidants of Jesus, one of the “three.” He'd seen things only two other men had witnessed. Most of the time he was the spokesman for the group. He'd experienced at least one miracle none of the other disciples had (walking on the water). When the Master predicted that his closest followers would all abandon him when the arrest warrants came, this man boldly pledged 100% loyalty. “All the rest might abandon you, but I’ll die by your side.”
And when the time came for a final choice, the once-bold disciple denied that he knew the name of Jesus of Nazareth. A little girl came and questioned him, and he swore that he didn’t know who she was talking about. He had three chances to reaffirm his commitment to the Lord Jesus, and three times he failed miserably.
Then Easter morning came, and the women got up and approached the tomb to do the final acts of devotion for the corpse of their Master. Hopefully you already know what the ladies found there: An angel (actually there were two, but only one is mentioned here) who was waiting for them. He told them the good news (which they should have anticipated) and sent them on a mission.
Here’s where Mark’s Gospel is unique. The other accounts note how the angels sent them to bear the news to the disciples, but here they mention two words that make a world of difference to one man in particular: “. . .and Peter.” He’s singled out as someone they have to tell first.
Why would Peter be singled out? Because he was the leader among them, and he'd failed the most spectacularly. The others had run away, but he had denied he even knew the Master’s name in order to save his own skin. When his Savior could have used the support of his closest friends, Peter’s failure would've cut the deepest.
And thus Peter needed to know that this was not the end. He needed to know that he was forgiven, and the Lord certainly wasn’t through with him yet. He had lots of plans for the ex-fisherman, and this was just turning the corner.
Why is this so important? Because maybe you’ve failed your Lord as spectacularly as Peter did. And guess what? Your Savior, when it’s needed, is as gentle as a summer breeze. He specializes in giving us the exact word of grace that we need. Yes, he’s like that.
Lord Jesus, I know that I’ve needed your word of grace so often. As often as I fail, your grace is greater than my sin. Thank you so much.