Our verse for today comes from John 13:38, ” Jesus answered, ‘Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied Me three times.’ “
Many people, myself included, consider the words of our Lord as recorded towards the end of the sermon on the mount in Matthew to be some of the most unsettling and frightening in all of scripture. In chapter 7, Jesus says that not everyone who calls Him Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do His will. The others shall hear this final command, ” I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness. ” Similarly, the prophecy of Jesus regarding Peter is unnerving and disconcerting. As you recall, Luke’s version adds the extra details where Jesus reveals that Satan himself has asked for Peter in order to sift him. But Jesus says that He has prayed for Peter that his faith would not fail, and that he would ultimately strengthen the others. But putting these accounts together, we realize that Satan asked for Peter, Jesus prayed for Peter, and Peter still denied our Lord. As I said, the promise of Jesus that Peter would deny Him, coming on the heels of Christ having prayed for Peter, is startling. One can only wonder if Satan were to set his sights on me, what treacherous forms of treason would I be capable of?
Fortunately, we know the end of the story which brought about restoration between Peter and Jesus, and how Peter went on to do mighty deeds according to His will, just as Christ had prayed that he would. But let us not forget that not one of us is above stumbling and falling. Let each of us do as Paul urged the Philippians, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. But let us also rest in the omnipotent hands of God, for Paul also said, ” It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. ” Just as Jesus held Peter even as he cursed Him, our Savior’s grasp cannot be loosed by our sin. But for His glory and your good, lay aside your pride and self-assurance, and fall on Jesus anew each day, knowing that He intercedes on your behalf as the Father has raised Him in glory to reign forever.
As we seek Him today, run away from the temptations that would cause you to deny Him. Give the rooster no cause to crow on your behalf.
Author – Rich Holt | BCWorldview.org
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