Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Time for Second Chances

By Michael Elmore

Author, Max Lucado shares a great piece of insight in his monthly newsletter that all of us need to take to heart. In case you haven’t read it on let me share it with you:

"It was small enough to overlook. Only two words. I know I’d read that passage a hundred times. But I’d never seen it.

But I won’t miss it again. It’s highlighted in yellow and underlined in red. You might want to do the same. Look in Mark, chapter 16. Get your pencil ready and enjoy this jewel in the seventh verse (here it comes). The verse reads like this: 'But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee.'

Did you see it? Read it again. (This time I italicized the words.)

'But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee.'

Now tell me if that’s not a hidden treasure.

If I might paraphrase the words, 'Don’t stay here, go tell the disciples,' a pause, then a smile, 'and especially tell Peter, that he is going before you to Galilee.'

What a line. It’s as if all of heaven had watched Peter fall—and it’s as if all of heaven wanted to help him back up again. 'Be sure and tell Peter that he’s not left out. Tell him that one failure doesn’t make a flop.'


No wonder they call it the gospel of the second chance.

Those who know these types of things say that the Gospel of Mark is really the transcribed notes and dictated thoughts of Peter. If this is true, then it was Peter himself who included these two words! And if these really are his words, I can’t help but imagine that the old fisherman had to brush away a tear and swallow a lump when he got to this point in the story.

It’s not every day that you get a second chance. Peter must have known that. The next time he saw Jesus, he got so excited that he barely got his britches on before he jumped into the cold water of the Sea of Galilee. It was also enough, so they say, to cause this backwoods Galilean to carry the gospel of the second chance all the way to Rome where they killed him. If you’ve ever wondered what would cause a man to be willing to be crucified upside down, maybe now you know.

It’s not every day that you find someone who will give you a second chance—much less someone who will give you a second chance every day.

But in Jesus, Peter found both."

I love Max Lucado’s explanation of Mark 16 its excellent. “The God of the second chance”. God knows that we all need one. Peter is a prime example. So are others. I think of John Mark in Acts. After he left Paul as they travelled together, Paul refused to travel with him so violently that he and Barnabas split up. Later, Paul gives John Mark a second chance to join with him in his travels and ministry Its interesting to note that John Mark, a "second chance guy,"  was the one who Peter dictated the Gospel of Mark to. I think John Mark understood Peter’s experience.  

“Second chances” are something God does in our lives all the time. The Bible is full of “second chance stories and we need them. Perhaps this New Year’s time you have found your relationship with Jesus to be a little out of sync . . . maybe more out of sync then you’d like to admit. Remember Peter wasn’t unique. If you find yourself needing a second chance this New Year’s season, open up your heart and receive the Christ afresh. Jesus tells us that “he stands at the door of our hearts knocking” (Rev. 3:20). Open the door let him in and the joy of second chances can be yours.


  1. Thanks for the timely reminder. Well said.

  2. I don't know where I'd be today if it wasn't for all the chances God has given AND continues to give me. Thanks!