“Simon, Simon, Satan had desired to have you, to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith would not fail and when you come back, you will strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31-32).
Jesus fixed His prophetic gaze upon Peter and saw something terrifying. He saw Peter deny Him and blaspheme His name to prove that he did not walk with Christ. Jesus caught a glimpse of the immediate future, the satanic trap and intent, as He saw Peter weeping bitterly, staggering away and abandoning everything to go back to his fishing vessel. Peter was returning to the nets of his past, in a state of profound resignation and despair. Satan had desired to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you.
Jesus saw the somber threat, demonic, dark, menacing and destructive, hovering over Peter. He sees and knows what could destroy us. He is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last page of our existence. He is never stunned or disgusted by our mistakes, our secrets, and our failures. He never “finds out” anything about us. He is all knowledge and all love and He never gives up on us and our future.
Jesus is not naïve, like a sweet “momma” who is sometimes blinded by unrealistic love that causes her to lose all lucidity or objectivity about “her baby.” No, to the contrary, Jesus possesses the divine and redemptive capacity to vividly see the worst threat in Peter’s life, but also to pray for him and to supernaturally foresee, by the Spirit of the Lord upon Him, that barely fifty days later, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter would stand in the midst of an agitated and tumultuous crowd and speak words that would literally give birth to the Church! “When you come back, you will strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus was already seeing Peter being transformed for triumph—from weeping to worship; denying to deliverance; feebleness to faith; blasphemy to blessing; ruin to revival—and from almost dead to authority and destiny. This is how Jesus sees you! He never only sees what you have been or what you are presently, He sees what you can become by faith in Him. He knows what has been prepared for you in the invisible realm. He wants us to learn to see ourselves, as well as others, through that dimension of faith.
Claude Houde, lead pastor of Eglise Nouvelle Vie (New Life Church) in Montreal, Canada, is a frequent speaker at the Expect Church Leadership Conferences conducted by World Challenge throughout the world. Under his leadership New Life Church has grown from a handful of people to more than 3500 in a part of Canada with few successful Protestant churches.