The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”
Peter had declared vehemently that he would never deny the Lord and yet, here he had just done it three times. Suddenly the cock crowed and he became acutely aware of what he had done. In that moment the Lord looked at Peter. With all the people present Jesus was able to catch the eye of Peter and in that glance there was an overwhelming sense of understanding.
Jesus knew Peter so well that he could predict how he would respond in the stress of the moment. The glance may have meant many things, but I sincerely doubt it was a look of condemnation. However, there was a sense that Jesus really did know more than Peter had been willing to accept. Even in that moment there would be a sense that Jesus should be trusted because he knows us better than we know ourselves. When he points out an area of weakness, he's serious about it. We ought to pay attention and listen to the Lord's guidance and instruction.
Considering all that Jesus would be facing in the coming hours the fact that he took a moment to look at Peter also reveals the incredible depth of love and lack of self centeredness on his part. In the midst of his pain he was still concerned about others. The glance at Peter may have expressed the love of a friend who knew what had just happened but also revealed love filled with forgiveness. Jesus sees us in the good and the bad and turns his face toward us, always reaching toward us with God's grace.
The Lord turns and looks at us each and every day. There is nothing that can be hidden from him and yet, he does not look on in condemnation. It was Peter who condemned himself and generally condemnation comes from ourselves and not from the Lord. The Lord looks on in love knowing that we are in self-inflicted pain. Jesus knew that this would be very difficult for Peter and that he would feel like a failure. Jesus poured himself out so that Peter, and all of us can be restored through his love.
The glance is filled with love and grace.
Lord, thank you for your love and the way in which you keep your eye on us. Amen.