Monday, April 24, 2017

Peter On Trial

Peter's denial happened because he wasn't ready for his trial by the fire. 


John 18:15-18 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest's courtyard with Jesus. 16 Peter had to stay outside the gate.

Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. 17 The woman asked Peter, "You're not one of that man's disciples, are you?" "No," he said, "I am not." 18 Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.

John 18:25-27 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked Him again, "You're not one of His disciples, are you?" He denied it, saying, "No, I am not." 26 But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Didn't I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?" 27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.

Peter was in the wrong place at the wrong time, if he truly wanted to make good on the promise that he would never deny Jesus, then he should have been hiding with the other disciples. Maybe Peter felt that hiding out in itself was a form of denial and would be a betrayal of his best friend.

Peter did not realize that Jesus was not the only man on trial that night, while Peter was being questioned and answering in fear because he had no control over what was happening, his best friend was just the opposite.

Jesus was in control of his situation, he was being questioned but he was answering the questions with one hundred percent calm, he knew that the cup of God's wrath was about to be poured out and he was willingly going to take it.
Matthew 26:40-41 Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with Me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!"
It was a cool night and the fire seemed like a good place to be but Peter did not prepare for his trial by the fire, earlier he was sleeping as Jesus was preparing for his trial, the interrogation that Peter would encounter would prove that his love and courage would not be enough to remain loyal to Jesus.
Luke 22:33 Peter said, "Lord, I am ready to go to prison with You, and even to die with You."
Peter's trial began with the servant girl asking the first question. If he was going to be successful at living up to his promise then this should prove to be the easiest questioner for him to handle but instead he fails right away. Two more times Peter would be questioned and each time he would get more anxious and frustrated while Jesus was calmly answered his interrogators.

Others in the circle around the fire took up the same question and one by one they began to ask. The third question came from one of Malchus’ relatives! This man had gotten a good look at Peter because he was probably standing with Malchus when he was injured by Peter.
1 Peter 4:12-13 Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead, be very glad--for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.
On the third time Peter swore with an oath that he wasn't one of Jesus disciples and then the rooster crowed to remind Peter that he had done what Jesus had predicted. I cannot imagine the thoughts that went through Peter's head as his heart sank when Jesus looked him in the eye.
It is worthwhile to contrast Peter and Judas. Peter wept over his sins and repented, while Judas admitted his sins but never really repented. Judas experienced remorse, not repentance. When Judas went out from the Upper Room, “it was night” but when Peter went out to weep bitterly, there was the dawning of a new day. Peter was guilty of resisting God’s will. Judas was guilty of the basest kind of treachery.
- Warren Weirsbe
Peter failed while he was on trial but thankfully Peter’s failure isn't the end of his story. Peter would be restored and would be filled with the Holy Spirit to give him wisdom and strength to lead the early church.

I need to remember:

  • Self-confidence and lack of prayer is a good way to fail when I am on trial. 
  • Making promises to God that are outside of his plans is useless.
  • Making promises within his will without relying on his strength is also useless.

Thank you Lord for your grace that offers me second chances. I have failed miserably when I have been tried by the fire. Help me to rely on your strength to do what you have chosen for me to do.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Better

God is in control so you know it will get better.


Video: Hezekiah Walker "Better"

People come, People go
Your life has been
Out of control
You're confused
Don't worry your soul

It will get better
Better
It will get better
Better
It will get better
God is in control

Find your praise
Within your heart
Hold it close
Don't ever depart
It gets cold in the night
But you'll be alright

Whatever state I find myself in
I learned how to be secure
Knowing that God
Will supply all my needs
And He'll work things out for my good

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Final Days of Jesus: Sunday

He is risen!





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Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Cup

Are you holding a sword in rebellion or are you submitting to the cup?


John 18:11-12 But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given Me?" 12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied Him up.

Matthew 26:39-42 He went on a little farther and bowed with His face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine." 40 Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with Me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!" 42 Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, "My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, Your will be done."

The early hours of Jesus last morning in the garden were incredibly stressful for everybody involved. Jesus suffering was by far the greatest, he had agonized over what was going to come when Judas came to the garden to give the guards the hypocritical signal (The Kiss) to point out which man was to be arrested.

No doubt the disciples had a lot going on in their heads, from the Lord's Supper just a few hours ago up to this time, their world was being turned upside down and they didn't have any control. As always Peter attempted to have some control, so he took the sword out that he had been carrying and tried to fight back to keep all of this from happening.

While Peter was holding the sword our Savior was reaching out to take a cup, while Peter was rebelling against God's plans Jesus was submitting to the plan. Peter wanted to protect Jesus and keep him from the cup of God's wrath but Jesus was taking the cup for our own protection.

The wrath of God, and punishment due for my sin is in that cup, it is a cup that I could never drink from and live, the only man that could do that for me was Jesus. Earlier Jesus asked the Father to take the cup away but now he is willing to take it, earlier he had agonized with the thought of the cup that he was to drink from, but now he Jesus was willing to take the cup of God's wrath. (Matthew 26:36-42)

Jesus attitude toward being made sin is much different that our attitude toward our sinful state. He was deeply pained by the effect of sin whereas we tend to enjoy our sin or at least we don't mind it very much.
Mark 10:37-40 They replied, "When You sit on Your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to You, one on Your right and the other on Your left." 38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?"

39 "Oh yes," they replied, "we are able!" Then Jesus told them, "You will indeed drink from My bitter cup and be baptized with My baptism of suffering. 40 But I have no right to say who will sit on My right or My left. God has prepared those places for the ones He has chosen."
We will all have to take a cup and suffer in this world. Jesus was able to accept the cup as an example to us in how to view our difficult yet much lighter afflictions. I can choose to oppose the Father's will as Peter did or I can trust his love and his plans and accept his will even when it looks too unpleasant.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Thank you Lord for accepting the cup that the Father planned for you to take in my place. You have taught me that I don't need to fear the cup that the Father has prepared for me. I know that he will not allow me to be overcome by the pain, suffering and heartbreak that I will experience in this world. 

The Final Days of Jesus: Saturday

Sunday is just around the corner.





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Friday, April 14, 2017

The Final Days of Jesus: Friday

Jesus is betrayed, arrested and crucified.





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Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Final Days of Jesus: Thursday

The day of the Last Supper.







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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Sword

We need to use the correct weapon and use it correctly.


John 18:10-11 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest's slave. 11 But Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given Me?"

The quiet of the night in the garden of Gethsemane was usually a good place for praying and sleeping. The disciples have probably spent plenty of nights in this garden asleep while Jesus is busy praying. Again tonight the disciples are busy sleeping as Jesus is praying and they are clueless about the anxiety and extreme sorrow that Jesus is experiencing as he prays. (Mark 14:32-36)

The eleven guys taking a nap are suddenly woke up as Jesus rebukes them for failing to pray and then before they can finish waking up the silence is broken by a mob. The quiet gives way to confusion as they try to wake up and comprehend what is going on. The disciples have been through a lot this evening and they must be asking themselves "what now?"

They watch as Judas steps up, that's no reason for concern since they thought that he is still one of them, but why are so many people with him. Judas came closer to Jesus and kissed him just as any disciple would greet his rabbi and then the chaos really begins to escalate. The kiss was the beginning of the violence that Jesus had been telling them about.

The Rebellious Sword


Peter was always one to take action, even if it was the wrong action, he realizes that Jesus prediction was about to come true if he didn't do something to stop it. It doesn't make sense to us that Peter would retaliate against such a large crowd but Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened in his life and he was in a desperate situation to hold on to what he loved.

The sword that Peter used represents rebellion against the will of God. Peter should have known that Jesus would be arrested and that He would willingly surrender to His enemies even if the enemy was laying on the ground. (John 18:5-6) Jesus has already tried to teach Peter this lesson just a few days before the Transfiguration. Peter was  in a dangerous situation going against God's plan and purpose. (Matthew 16:21-23)
Peter made every mistake possible! He fought the wrong enemy, used the wrong weapon, had the wrong motive, and accomplished the wrong result! He was openly resisting the will of God and hindering the work that Jesus came to accomplish.
When we think of rebellion the Apostle Paul usually comes to mind but Peter was ahead of Paul. Peter argued with Jesus on more than one occasion about Jesus death and he sought to fight against God's plan by taking up the sword. Peter could have been executed for his actions against Malchus but Jesus fixed the damage so that Peter would live on to do battle another day with a different sword. (John 17:12)

The Spiritual Sword


The proper sword for God’s servants to use in fighting their spiritual battles is the sword of the spirit. (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17) The truth of God's Word is our weapon of choice, if we choose to use the wrong sword then we will fail miserably.

If Eve had stuck to God's Word back in the garden instead of reasoning about what it really meant then she would have been victorious just as Jesus was when he used God's Word against Satan. (Matthew 4:4-10)
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 We are human, but we don't wage war as humans do. We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
Jesus doesn't want us to use worldly weapons to fight spiritual battles, it doesn't make sense to use inferior weapons and tools to fight against such a strong adversary. Don't let Satan trick you into believing that he has better weapons or that his plans are better than God's plan and purpose for us.

I need to be vigilant in Bible study so that I will be aligned with God's plans and purpose for the events in my life. If I rebel and take up the wrong sword then I will suffer great harm. My Bible study time should make me a better soldier by purifying me and by training me to use the sword of God's word against Satan.
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The fourth day of Holy week.





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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Final Days of Jesus: Tuesday

Jesus teaches and he predicts the future.



https://www.crossway.org/blog/2014/04/the-final-days-of-jesus-tuesday-march-31-ad-33/

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