Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Peter takes his eyes off of his Savior.

Luke 22:54-62 So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.

56 A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” 57 But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!” 58 After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted. 59 About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

61 At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 62 And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.

Imagine the look. Peter just finished doing what he said that he would never do when Jesus looks straight at him. Imagine breaking your Master's heart and seeing it in his eyes as soon as you have done it, no wonder Peter left the courtyard crying, he couldn't believe that he actually did what Jesus told him that he was going to do.

Peter didn't just do it one time, Jesus told Peter that he would do it three times within the next few hours and despite all of the determination that Peter could muster up he still proved Jesus to be right.

What happened? There was a big change from the Peter that was sitting in the upper room at the table with Jesus to the Peter that was following at a distance. In the upper room there was intimacy and eye contact but then Peter is in the shadows on the street and he is hanging out with the servant girl at the edges of the courtyard of the house of the high priest.

Peter got away from Jesus and he lost his focus. It reminds me of the time when Peter walked on water, he got out of the boat and he walked toward Jesus, he was doing great until his eyes got off of Jesus.

What's your point of view?

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Can you imagine if you had to look directly at Jesus each time you did Him wrong? It tore Peter up and I am sure that it would help us make better choices too.

Keeping our eyes on Jesus is an essential part of our battle with sin and our natural man. We need to run the race to win by stripping off the burdens of this world, even the burden of fear, that was the burden that was weighing Peter down after Jesus arrest. As pastor J.C. Ryle said:
There are three points of view in which your soul should look at Jesus Christ. Let me set them before you in order, and tell you what they are. 

✔ You should look backward, to Jesus on the cross.
✔ You should look upward, to Jesus at the right hand of God.
✔ You should look forward, to Jesus coming again at the last day.
There is a battle going on in this world, their is an enemy that wants to persuade you to take your eyes off of Jesus, your enemy knows that if you are out their all alone without Jesus then you are an easy target and you are capable of being like Peter and doing things that you swore you could never do.

There is great advice in the old hymn:
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth
will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
I need to keep my eyes on you Lord, without you I can do nothing.