Peter, faithful to the death:
“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.” (John 18:10 ESV)
Peter, fearful of death?
“The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”… Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. (John 18:17, 25-27 ESV)
Ignore the rooster for now…Focus!
Question: Why did Peter deny Jesus three times?
Answer: Because Peter was ready to die for Jesus, but not ready to live for Him.
Are you ready to live for Jesus?
Or is Jesus only about death for you?
Please read the last two lines again slowly, then stop and really thing about it…
Remember, Peter actually saw Jesus. Peter left home and work to follow Jesus the rabbi, listened to Jesus speak the words of the most powerful book ever, walked on a sea with Jesus, saw Jesus glowing in glory with Moses and Elijah, and sword slashed the ear off a man to protect Jesus. And then Peter betrayed his faith in Jesus. After all of that, then he betrayed the Christ who he say was “…the Christ, the son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16 ESV)
Peter was ready to sacrifice everything at any moment for His powerful and present Jesus, but what about the maligned, despised, and departing Jesus.
Can we say that we would do any better to stand with a Jesus that seems to be a failure? What do we do when the world calls him a failure to our face and labels us “Christian” with all the misunderstandings, presuppositions, and stereotypes that come with the label? No, forget the “world” challenging you. What about a friend? What about family? A boss? A customer? A girlfriend? A random person that sits beside you?
The lie that I often have told myself is that if I had to give my life for Jesus, I would do it. Well, what is “it”? Do I mean that if I were being threatened with a gun to deny Jesus, then I would speak up about my faith in Jesus? Is that what I think? Is that what many other Christ-followers think?
How is that any different from saying, “I won’t speak up for Jesus unless someone puts a gun to my head?”
“Will you die for Jesus?” And the crowd screams, “YES!!!”
“Will you go to a hard place to live and serve people who you don’t know?” …Crowd?
“Will you give away your entertainment money to help others know Jesus?” …Crowd?
“Will you risk embarrassment to share Jesus with another?” …Crowd?
“Will you serve others who treat you like dirt?” …Crowd?
This is the real question that we must ask ourselves if we will follow Jesus before He returns to take us home: Will we live our smallest moments for the Jesus that we are willing to give our lives for? …Our smallest moments for Him?
[Prayer] God, help us to live eternally and to live every moment until then for Your Son and by Your Spirit that You will be celebrated by all.
To do less than this seems odd because…
Nothing is better than Jesus.