Knowledge of Self Through Christ
Luke 22:55-62
And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.…

He remembered. He realized under the eye of Jesus what he had been doing. A glance of God into his soul revealed his loss of himself. Beholding his Lord, as he stood in the calm triumph of His Divine manhood looking into his timid soul, he could not help knowing himself in his weakness and shame. Not a word was spoken. God does not need to speak to judge us. He will only need to look upon us. One look of divinity is enough to convince of sin. Peter the denier, under the eye of the Son of God, became at once Peter the penitent. And we know how afterwards Peter the penitent became Peter the man — firm as the rock — the true Peter, hero of faith, and made worthy at last of meeting and returning with joy the look of the risen and ascended Lord among the sons of God on high. These effects of Jesus' flashings of God upon Peter show very simply and plainly Jesus' method of convincing men of sin, and of lifting them up through repentance to real and everlasting manliness. No man ever felt Jesus' eye upon him, and went away without a look into his own heart which he had never had so clearly before. Some men went away from Christ to the judgment. The thoughts of many hearts, as Simeon foresaw, were revealed by him. Jesus' gospel, therefore, being thus intensely personal, real, and revealing, is the most honest thing in this whole world. It is no form, no fiction of life, no exaggeration of feeling, no mere speech about God and the world to come; it is the one essentially and perfectly honest thing in this world of words and forms and fictions of life. Now let me specify two or three particulars which are brought out in Jesus' revelation of men to themselves. He made men, whom His divinity searched, understand that they were personally responsible for their own real characters. He did not allow His disciples to condemn men for their misery, or their misfortunes, or the consequences of their circumstances, or any of those influences which meet from beyond their own wills in men's lives. But He made every soul of man realize that within life's circumstances there is a living centre of personal responsibility. Jesus made men understand, also, that in their sinning they have to do with personal beings. We do not sin against abstractions, or against a system of commandments only; we are persons in a society of persons of which God is the centre and the source. All sin is against the realities of a most personal universe. Sin strikes against beings. Peter sinned against the Lord who had chosen him, and who was about to die for him. The sinfulness of sin is not that it is simply a transgression of a law; but it beats against love. All sin is against love, against all love; for it is sin against the living, personal being of God. Again, as Jesus Christ showed men themselves in their sins, he showed them also that those sins of theirs are something which God cannot endure for ever. They must not be. They shall not be. God cannot always endure them, and be the God He is. Jesus said He did not come to judge the world; and yet again He said, "Now is the judgment of this world." God on high cannot suffer us to go on in this way for ever. He must redeem us and make us like Himself, or He must do something else worthy of Himself with us. This is morally certain. And one thing more is clear as a star in the mystery of Godliness. There is one thing more which we need to know which Jesus makes as bright as day in His gospel of God to man. When Peter was at Jesus' knees saying in the first honest instinct of a man who saw himself, "I am a sinful man," Jesus stood over him radiant like a God, and said, "Fear not." Such is God's lovely attitude towards every penitent at the feet of His Almightiness! Fear not! Sin is forgiven and all its darkness made bright in the love which reveals it. The cloud of our sky becomes a glory at the touch of the sun. If we will not come to the light to be made known and to be forgiven, then we remain in the darkness. Penitence is holding ourselves up in God's pure and infinite light, and letting Him shine our darkness away. Fear not; sin is vouchsafed forgiveness in the same love which it shows to sin, and condemns it.

(Newman Smyth, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.

WEB: When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard, and had sat down together, Peter sat among them.

God Connects His Moral Commands with Natural Objects
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