Jesus earthly ministry was coming to an end. Gethsemane and the Judgment Hall were very near. The last supper had ended. Jesus was about to go to the cross and His disciples were deep in carnality arguing who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. We can only imagine that Simon Peter was probably the most vocal of them all. Suddenly the mood changes and Jesus looks at Peter and says to him, “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat”;
THE NEED TO ASK
Luke 22:31; Job 1:8-12 Notice that Satan has requested or asked for Peter. He could not just attack Peter or attack Job without permission from God. God's people belong to God and whatever happens to God's people must have His okay.
Matthew 28:18 The fact is that Jesus has all power and authority over heaven and earth means that all requests and business of all kinds must be approved by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Corinthians 10:13 The reason we have this wonderful promise is because when Satan wants to tempt us, the Lord must be certain that we will not be tempted above our means to resist.
Luke 22:32 Notice that Jesus gives Peter something to hold onto when He tells Peter that He has prayed that his faith will fail not. Isn't it wonderful to know that Jesus is in our corner and when He prays for us to be strong as He prayed for Peter, God the Father always answers in the positive.
ATTACK THE BRETHREN
Luke 22:31b ...”that he may sift you like wheat”... The meaning of this is that when wheat or grain is sifted or shaken it is to remove the impurities from that which is good. Satan wanted to shake Peter to prove that his faith was weak and that Peter would crumble. Notice that God did not give Satan the blanket approval that He gave him with Job. God knows what each of us can take.
Ephesians 6:11-12 How many times must we be warned of the power and devices of the devil. He would like to attack and sift all of God's people in order to break us and drive us crazy with guilt.
Luke 22:32 Notice the promise and encouragement from Jesus; “that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted (returned to Me) strengthen thy brethren.” Jesus was telling Peter that he would get through the trials and return to fellowship with Jesus and later go and encourage the other believers.
I Peter 1:6-7; I Peter 5:8 Later in his life Peter would write and warn us of the trials that would come into our lives and the voracity of our great adversary the devil.
ATTACK THE LEADERS
Luke 22:31 Of course Satan knew that Peter was close to the Lord and that the other Disciples followed Peter's lead. Satan cannot be everywhere (Job 1:7) so he looks for leaders that can be influenced by his powers of persuasion. Leaders that fall usually take others with them.
Acts 20:29-30 Paul knew that Satan would attack leaders who would rise up and teach false doctrine to deceive and destroy the work of God. Look at world history and the leaders of nations even today.
I Timothy 2:1-4 We are commanded to pray for all leaders, government, church, businesses, etc.