Luke 22:31–32: “And the Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.'”

December 2nd, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

In Luke 6:14, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter, but here He purposefully reverted back to his old name to underscore Peter’s overconfidence in his own abilities. Peter believed he had enough faith and courage to face prison and even death for Jesus, but within just hours, he was overcome by fear and denied knowing Jesus 3 times (Luke 22:55–62). In the original Greek, the words translated “asked for you” do not suggest that Satan made a polite request of God, but rather insisted that he be allowed to sift all the disciples (“you” is plural here) like wheat.

In the 1st century, wheat was separated from the stalk by very primitive means, so most of the grain would still have the husk or hull attached. When a cook wanted flour, they had to take the raw grain to the miller. The miller would pour it between grinding stones, and then stone grind it to make the wheat into flour. The problem was there were always still a lot of hulls, as well as occasional bits of sand and gravel in the ground grain. Jesus was warning Peter that Satan wanted to separate him, and all the disciples, from their Master.

We are all in Satan’s sights to be sifted and separated from the Lord. So Jesus’ statement, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail,” should be an encouragement to us too. Peter and the other disciple’s faith was the issue. Jesus did not pray that they would not go through the sifting. No, in fact, Satan was allowed to sift them all. Jesus knew what they would learn, and how Peter would encourage the others after he was strengthened and had grown spiritually. God also allows us to go through the sifting process so that we will be strengthened and matured in the same way. Do not be surprised by trials and struggles in your life today. Sifting is a normal process, applied to all followers of Jesus.

“LORD, help us to be strengthened and matured this day we ask.”