The Face of God
Scripture Reading — Luke 22:54-65
The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.
—Luke 22:61 —
Do you want God to look at you? Sometimes God’s turning toward his people is a sign of great blessing, peace, and well-being. God himself taught the spiritual leaders of Israel to bless the people: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).
In our reading today, after Peter denies Jesus three times, we find that “the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.” Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said, “You will disown me three times.”
What did Peter see in Jesus’ face as the Lord looked straight at him? Was it rebuke? A look saying “I told you so”? Or was it grace? All we are told is that Peter remembered what Jesus had said, and that Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Peter knew he had denied and failed his Lord, so in shame and misery he ran out, away from Jesus’ gaze. Though Peter ran away, we know Jesus later called him back—and gave him peace and a mission (John 21).
For us too, when we know we are guilty, we cannot bear to stand in the Lord’s presence. But, like Peter, we need to be reminded of who Jesus is (see Matthew 16:16). This is the Son of God, who has come to bless and keep his people, to be gracious and give us peace. Sometimes we want to run, but God won’t let us go, and he blesses us anyway.
Lord, help us to seek your face, knowing that you love and care for us. We need your grace. Amen.