Posted by Gary on March 29, 2012
Matthew 26:56 “Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.”
Peter’s three-time denial of Jesus is as well known as any event in the Bible save the crucifixion and resurrection itself. To be fair to Peter you will note from the passage above that all the disciples forsook Jesus and fled. We tend to rake Peter over the coals for his unfaithfulness and not without justification. Though all the disciples said they would die for Jesus, Peter did distinguish himself and say that even if the rest of them would cave in, he never would:
Matthew 26:33-35 “But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.”
Christian, certainly you know that there are many times that you and I are like Peter right? There are times when you and I don’t want others to know that we are one His disciples right? Let me guess, you never do this right? Have there been times when you have had opportunity to speak about Jesus and for Him and you did not for fear of what someone would think about you? Have there been times when Christ’s truth needed to be declared and you kept silent because you were afraid of others? Are you as willing to have others know you are Christ’s as you are to have them know who your favorite sports team is or who your favorite singer is? Do you declare Him like you do the Yankees, Phillies, Bono or Elvis?
If we are honest we will acknowledge freely that there is much of Peter in us. Let us remember though, that after Pentecost and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Peter and the other Apostles were very different men, bold, brave and faithful. May God by His Spirit make us like them.
Please take a moment to read these thoughts from Charles Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” that I came across this week. They will humble you and challenge you:
“He never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from Him in the very beginning of His sufferings. This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves; they are but sheep at the best, and they flee when the wolf comes. They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels.
It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lord’s sake, and I imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect fidelity; but let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles did. It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform.
Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions of angels? They fled from their true safety. O God, let me not play the fool also. Divine grace can make the coward brave. The smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it. These very apostles who were timid as hares, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them, and even so the Holy Spirit can make my cowardly spirit brave to confess my Lord and witness for his truth.
If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify him afresh, and put him to an open shame. Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so shameful.”
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