4.3.17 – The Weekly Walk. Peter.
I was reading this morning in Matthew, Mark, Luke & John about Peter. Jesus, took Peter, James & John up to the Mount of Olives to keep watch while He prayer. He leaves them for a bit to go off and pray and comes back and finds them sleeping. He wakes them up, goes off and prays again and comes back to find them sleeping….again!
Isn’t this so true of our human nature. Sometimes problems, situations and crossroads in our lives make us just want to step aside, fall asleep and not deal with them. Jesus’ response to them was “Watch and pray so that you may not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Our everyday walk with Jesus reminds us to wake up, keep watch & continuously be in prayer. Not so that things can work out our way but so that we don’t fall into temptation. Into other minefields and other situations that lead us away from Him and the walk that we should have with Him daily.
We know the story, a small army of men come to take Jesus away, he heals one of the men after their ear is cut off, which for me would be reason enough to fall to my knees and worship right there on the spot. They accuse Jesus and find Him guilty of his statement that He is the Son of God.
Meanwhile, the backstory on Peter is this. The night before Jesus had said that He will deny Him three times. While Jesus is in this trial, Peter is hanging out outside warming himself by the fire. A servant girl says to him, aren’t you the one who was with the Nazarene. Peter denies it. Someone else states the same thing and he denies it again. Finally a third time he is accused of being a friend of Jesus to which he denies it a third time. The rooster crows and Peters weeps bitterly for his denial.
This is Peter. This is the one who walked on water to reach Jesus only a few days prior. The one who had complete faith in Him as he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to reach him. I can’t define what happened here and why the denial. I have to chalk it up to human nature and Peter’s humanness. It’s hard to fathom and something that I’m wrestling with this morning as I type this. How, if just a few days ago he was walking on water, could he now deny knowing Jesus, not once but three times. I think of my own walk with Jesus. Do I deny Him after I’ve seen Him work so mightily in someone’s life? In my own life? Sadly, the answer is yes. Denial happens all the time. Small compromises, small statements, small sins that compound and tear us away from Him and the goodness that He has for us. We as human beings are lost without His grace. Lost without His mercy. I struggle daily with trying to be a better man, husband, father, leader, christian, the list goes on. Peter, in this act of denial, teaches us all an incredible lesson in humanness. We are all subject to it and all in need of a Savior. Someone who, even though we deny Him, sometimes on a daily basis, will still walk up to the cross and let the nails be driven in, let the cross be lifted up, and let his body be broken, because He loves us that much. Jesus tells us, “Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
“I do not give as the world gives.”
For that statement alone I am thankful.