Posted in 1Corinthians, John, Luke, Mark, Psalms

An Intimate Appearance

“Go, 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

Jesus told His disciples at the last supper that He would meet them in Galilee after His resurrection. The angel is repeating what he overheard Jesus Himself say to them at this last meeting, but he has also witnessed the devastation of Peter. His instructions from heaven evidently include this special reference to the fallen leader who has denied Christ three times after promising to die for Him: “…tell the disciples and Peter.”

Jesus, Himself, appeared first to Mary Magdalene, not in Galilee, but in Jerusalem on the day He was resurrected. This appearance was unpromised and unexpected. He also appeared the same day to two men on the road to Emmaus. And then, that same night, as the two of them were retelling their story, He appeared to all of them (except Thomas), and the details of this visit are given to us in Scripture as well. (See Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20)

But there is one appearance that happened where we are given no details. Jesus appeared personally, on resurrection day, to Peter. Two different New Testament authors reference this appearance, but give us no specifics. In Luke 24:34, while the men who saw Jesus on the road to Emmaus were telling their story, the disciples respond by saying: “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon (Peter).” In 1Corinthians 15, Paul is referencing all the resurrection appearances to men, and says: “I passed on to you…that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the others…” (1Corinthians 15:4-5)

Why aren’t we told of this interaction with Peter? What did Jesus say to him? What did Peter say? Maybe there are some interactions with the Lord that are so intimate they aren’t for others to hear about.

Here’s what we know for sure: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) He loved Peter so much that He singled him out on the most important day in history. He took time to come close and restore one who was being crushed by his own sin and failure. Isn’t He amazing?


Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin