Get Back Up

November 21, 2018

John 13:37-38… Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow until you have denied me 3 times.”

            This exchange took place on the night Jesus was betrayed. It is well documented in the Bible that Peter denied Jesus. Jesus was prophetic. He was/is God and God is all-knowing. Did He express what He knew of Peter or did He prophecy it into existence? I believe that He knew Peter and knew what was going to happen. I don’t believe He prophesied it into existence.

            Jesus knows each of us and He knows our reactions. He works with us on our path to total transformation. He does not Spiritually transform us into perfect godly people. He could make that happen, so, since it doesn’t happen that way, it is not His plan. We choose godliness. And yes, he has already chosen it for us, but we join Him when we make that choice. We don’t become godly by a discipline of our will; we become godly by the power of God.

            Peter did not see this clearly. He assumed he could make the right decisions. When you pray, when you talk to Jesus, be careful to not brag about your intentions. In another place and time, Jesus gave the example of a Pharisee and a sinner going to the temple to pray: The Pharisee prayed bragadociously that he was a good person. The sinner said, “Lord, have mercy on me… a sinner.” The sinner’s prayer was heard and received in heaven. We may think that we would never deny God, but perhaps we haven’t experienced the test of the century. Guard your mouth. Let your words be few. Keep the difference between confidence and pride. In Hebrews we learn to come boldly before the throne of grace. That does not mean, “proudly.” It means “confidently.”

            Face the Devil authoritatively. Approach God humbly. As we continue reading, we learn that Peter’s denial was not the end of Jesus’ work in him. He preached the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost. Have you denied Jesus? Have you disobeyed his words? Don’t cower in defeat; come to Jesus and let Him complete the work He began in you. We are being transformed… by Him.