Scavengers have a critical environmental impact, yet their job description isn't any less gruesome. As defined, a scavenger is an animal or other organism that feeds on dead organic matter. Not exactly the job to write home about. However a scavenger comes after the kill, not to make it. Many killers are the fast, smooth, and beautiful ones. The eagles, the hawks, the lions ...
I see an eagle swooping down in an attempt to make its kill when I read this verse ...
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” (Luke 22:31-32a ESV)There are so many things that come to mind when I read this passage:
- The word for demanded here is exaiteo in Greek, which also implies an asking, or permission.
- Jesus is clearly our intercessor. Without His intercessory prayer and denial of permission, Satan would have had his way with Simon (Peter)
- Jesus knew Peter would doubt and deny Him. Yet he didn't fail when he denied Him three times, because failure is not defined by a mistake, but by giving up.
- How many times has Jesus prayed for me that my faith will not fail? I know He does. Reminds me of the unknown pitfalls that He rescued me from. (My earlier thoughts on this here)
While I could examine any of these points (and more), the overall concept of Satan demanding the destruction of Peter gives me goosebumps. It's a chilling reminder that when great things are about to happen, the more we're in the game, there is a lion waiting to devour us. I can picture Jesus saying to me right now, Matthew, Satan has demanded to have you, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.
And to what end? For love? Yes, but more than love. He saves so that:
"And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32b ESV)
May we live this life in joy, peace, and love to strengthen our brothers and sisters in Christ. There may indeed be a lion waiting to devour us, but let us never forget there is another Lion ...