18 October 2013

Peter Denies Jesus (Peter's Story, Day 18)

 Jesus knew all along what Peter would do.
He knows you better than you know yourself, too.

Peter thought, in spite of Jesus' prediction, he would remain faithful until death.  He knew what his life was before Jesus; he knew all hope centered in this Man who healed all diseases of soul and body; and he knew he never wanted to live another day without Jesus.

Jesus bluntly tried to prepare him, to show him his great need of increased faith, and assured the poor, proud disciple He still loved and prayed for him.  Still, Peter trusted himself more than he trusted Jesus, the Man he believed was the Messiah.

When the crowd arrested Jesus that night, Peter blundered on through intense hours.  He thought he could protect Jesus, but only cut off a man's ear.

Jesus paused in the middle of everything to rescue one of the mobsters who came for His life from certain deafness and perhaps death by infection and loss of blood.  Jesus paused in the middle of everything to rescue Peter from the death penalty that would certainly have been his if his victim lost not only his ear, but also his life.

In return, the mob led Jesus away to the first of many trials.  Peter, wanting desperately but anonymously to know what would happen to Jesus, followed along at a distance.  He loved his Master, after all, so he kept quiet and warm by the fire, waiting for the verdict, waiting to see if there would be anything he could do, perhaps, to rescue the Messiah.

But when a voice broke into his tormented thoughts, picking him out for exactly what he had become--a disciple of Jesus--he panicked.

He lied in his panic, three times.

Just when we thought there would be no end to Peter's cursing and denying, a rooster's crow broke through the early morning, broke right through the terrified wall of self-trust Peter built up around his heart.

He saw himself clearly then, weak, brash, unfaithful.

Again, in the middle of everything, Jesus paused.

He paused to rescue Peter from another, more serious death penalty, one pronounced by God Himself on all who sin and come short of the glory of God.  He paused to look over at Peter, to find his eyes, and speak wordless pity to a broken man through the infinite eyes of love.

The Peter who fled from the judgment hall to weep out his sorrow for sin was not the same proud, self-sufficient man who stood by the fire.

 Have you ever thought there were bigger issues for God to solve in the universe than your trials and problems?  Has that become an excuse to keep your problems to yourself, instead of handing them over to Jesus?

It sounds crazy, but sometimes we trust ourselves to handle our "smaller" problems, and try to hold out on asking Jesus for help until we have an issue that's big enough.  More clearly beyond ourselves than the average, every-day concerns.

Of course we would never admit out loud to thinking this way, but isn't that how we go about our lives?  Trusting ourselves until we hit the bottom and realize we can't solve everything for ourselves?  

Then we wonder if we've taken our self-trust too far for Jesus to bother with us ever again.

But the same Jesus who paused in the middle of His worst moments on earth to rescue Peter from Himself is still just as capable of pausing to rescue you.

"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  but even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."  Luke 12:6, 7

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1 comment:

  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. Loved it. Reminded me of His great love and concern for each of us, Lisa :O)


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