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Luke Study #189 – Help The Others

The Gospel Of Luke

Luke 22:31-34 (CEV)

31 Jesus said, “Simon, listen to me! Satan has demanded the right to test each one of you, as a farmer does when he separates wheat from the husks. 32 But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to me, help the others.”

33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.”

34 Jesus replied, “Peter, I tell you that before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.

Help The Others

I’ve heard lots of sermons over the years on how easy it is to ‘fall away’ from Jesus when the going gets tough. That if it happened to Simon, then it can happen to us.

And they almost invariably ended with some version of ‘therefore try harder’.

But I was struck as I read this passage by the second half of verse 32. “And when you have come back to me, help the others.”

Jesus’ instructions to Simon never once suggest that there was a way for Simon as he was that night to do anything other than deny he knew Jesus. Jesus’ instructions to Simon never once suggest that he could try his way out of this. Simon Peter (and yes, it’s the same person Jesus is talking to throughout this passage, it’s just that one is his name in Aramaic – Simon – and the other is his name in Greek – Peter) in fact does test out the ‘try harder’ idea. His response is to dedicate himself to Jesus – promising that he’s willing to go to jail with him and even to die with him.

But Jesus seems to want something different from him.

Instead of an iron-clad warrior, Jesus seems to want a wounded healer.

Which doesn’t surprise me very much when I look at my own life and the lives of so many of the people I most respect and have most learned from.

Maybe it reminds you of yours a little, too.

Maybe that’s why you hang around at Vox – because you see a bit of yourself in the honest vulnerability of those around you when you show up.

And if that’s the case, then I think that Jesus has something to say to you – just as he did to Simon Peter the night before he was killed.

“When you have come back to me, help the others.”

If you feel like you’ve been up against impossible circumstances, or ‘failed’ when things got tough, there is a way forward for you. It’s really important, so I’m going to break it down a bit.

It’s a two-step process.

Step one is that we’re invited to come back.

Whatever the pain is. Whatever the shame is. Whenever the loss happened or the betrayal or the abandonment took place. Whatever it is that sent you spiraling away from the Jesus you knew and loved and wanted to follow – you have to come back.

We’re invited to reconnect with Jesus.

We’re invited to get vulnerable about the places that hurt because that is the only way through the shame and the pain.

We’re invited to do the work of showing up – even though it’s hard – and then invited to release the pain so that we can experience healing and wholeness again.


Because step two is that we’re invited to help others.

The point of the healing and the wholeness and the release of the pain isn’t just for us. The point of it all is for us to experience healing and wholeness for ourselves and so that we will have some healing and wholeness – something valuable – to offer to someone else.

And our best chance at having something valuable to offer someone else comes from having walked through hard spaces ourselves and come out the other side.

Our best chance at having something valuable to offer someone else comes when we can offer it from a place of humility – an honesty that knows just how easy it would be for the tables to be turned – for me to be you and for you to be me in whatever mess we find ourselves in.

Our best chance at having something valuable to offer someone else comes when we become comfortable enough with our own emotions that we can see and be comfortable with the emotions and pains of another – and enter into that space with their consent so that they don’t have to do it alone.

And sure, we can barrel through these words of Jesus – jump to Simon Peter’s conclusion that he just needs to try harder – but if you’ve tested that theory out and found it lacking, Jesus’ words help us to see what comes next.

“When you have come back to me, help the others.”

Journal Questions:

  1. Are you currently in the midst of ‘trying harder’ in some area of your life? How’s that working out for you?
  2. Are you ready to ‘come back’ but not sure how? I’d love to chat more with you about what that process looks like – please email me through [email protected].
  3. Have you been doing the work of ‘coming back’ and aren’t sure what comes next?
  4. For Simon Peter, ‘the others’ were the other disciples and then not too long after, the surge of new followers. Would you be willing to ask God who your ‘others’ are?
  5. What would it look like to commit yourself to ‘these others’?


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