And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:…
I. First, it is HIS DUTY. He has gone astray, and he has been brought back; what better can he do than to strengthen his brethren?
1. He will thus help to undo the evil which he has wrought. Peter must have staggered his brethren.
2. Besides, how can you better express your gratitude to God than by seeking to strengthen your weak brethren when you have been strengthened yourself?
3. Do you not think, too, that this becomes our duty, because, doubtless, it is a part of the Divine design? Never let us make a mistake by imagining that God's grace is given to a man simply with an eye to himself.
4. By the way, the very wording of the text seems to suggest the duty: we are to strengthen our "brethren." We must do so in order that we may manifest brotherly love, and thus prove our sonship towards God.
5. Let us see to it, dear friends, if we have been restored, that we try to look after our weak brethren, that we may show forth a zeal for the honour and glory of our Lord. When we went astray we dishonoured Christ.
II. Now secondly, HE HAS A QUALIFICATION FOR IT. This Peter is the man who, when he is brought back again, can strengthen his brethren.
1. He can strengthen them by telling them of the bitterness of denying his Master. He went out and wept bitterly.
2. Again, Peter was the man to tell another of the weakness of the flesh, for he could say to him, "Do not trust yourself."
3. But he was also qualified to bear his personal witness to the power of his Lord's prayer. He could never forget that Jesus had said to him, "I have prayed for thee."
4. And could not Peter speak about the love of Jesus to poor wanderers?
5. And could not Peter fully describe the joy of restoration?
III. And now, lastly, the restored believer should strengthen his brethren, because IT WILL BE SUCH A BENEFIT TO HIMSELF. He will derive great personal benefit from endeavouring to cherish and assist the weak ones in the family of God.
1. Brother, do this continually and heartily, for thus you will be made to see your own weakness.
2. But what a comfort it must have been to Peter to have such a charge committed to him!
3. And, brethren, whenever any of you lay yourselves out to strengthen weak Christians, as I pray you may, you will get benefit from what you do in the holy effort.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: