Friday, November 09, 2012

November 9, 2012 …Momentary Weakness

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 314

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Luke, Chapters 22 To study these chapters, go to this link
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: John, Chapters 13 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: Luke 22: 31-34 : [NLT] … {I’m asking any reading with me today to use the link above and meditate on Luke 22: 31-34, where you will find Luke’s account of Jesus predicting Peter’s denial, … words that must’ve cut to the core of Peter’s spirit, especially since Peter had always been such an outspoken proponent of Jesus as “Yahweh,” The Messiah. }...  
31 “Simon, Simon, … Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” 34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  
Highlight Passages: John 13: 31-38 : [NLT] … {And then go to John’s account of the same story in John 13: 31-38 of the same story, reading the following; and note how Jesus was not only predicting Peter’s denial; but He was also allowing for his repentance and restoration, which, no doubt, I’ll be reading about and studying later in John 21 [see below] }  
31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will soon give glory to the Son. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” 
36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” 37“But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”  
38 Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  

Reference Passage: John 21: 15-17 : [NLT] … {Jesus knew, when He predicted Peter’s denial and momentary weakness above }that Peter would be restored after the resurrection; and Jesus also knows what lies ahead for you and me after we repent and are restored into fellowship with the Lord. } … 15 After breakfast [with the 11 remaining disciples after the resurrection] Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” … “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. 16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” … “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” … “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. 17 Once more he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” … Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.” … Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”  

My Journal for Today: Once again, there is so much information worthy of comment and journaling in these two chapters of the synoptic Gospels assigned by the chronological reading plan this morning. There is the wonderful and poignant story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in the Upper Room prior to His going to the cross. There is Judas’ betrayal; and there are other stories related by Luke and John as Jesus was entering His time of passion prior to being arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin and by the Roman court.

But the scenario which catches my spirit this morning during my quiet time of Bible reading, is the passage in both of these chapters of Jesus predicting Peter’s denial. Once again I’m taken by identification with Peter. I’m so much like him; … impulsive, gullible, and having to guard my tongue. … Oh, so often I have had “open mouth, insert foot” moments in my life.

In the parallel passages in Luke 22 and John 13, we read of Jesus shocking Peter with the prediction that before the evening would be over, he, Peter, would deny His Lord … not once … but thrice. “NO WAY!!!” … had to have been Peter’s thinking when he heard Jesus’ prediction. But we know that’s exactly what happened; and it rocked Peter to his spiritual core.

Have you ever had a weak moment where you knew you had, in essence, denied your Lord? Maybe you said something hurtful to another. Perhaps you became convicted when you saw someone in need but you were unwilling – though able – to help. Maybe … Maybe ______________ … well, you fill in the blank with your own memories of unChristlike weakness or denial. I’ve sure have had some moments like this.

Well, Jesus knows your (or my) weaknesses; and we all have the potential of denying Christ in moments of human weakness (i.e, know the truth of Romans 3: 23). But Jesus, as He did with Peter, also knows the potential we have for following Him if/when we repent and are restored to fellowship with our Lord. When Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, Jesus knew that about four days hence, Peter would be restored to fellowship with His Lord … when, as we read above in John 21: 15-17, Peter was given the opportunity (and took it!) to repent and follow Jesus’ commission to serve his Lord by “feeding His sheep;” or, in other words, … in service to Christ for the rest of Peter’s life.

Do you identify? I sure do; … and as I’ve taken in these wonderful, instructive, and restorative passages from God’s word, I’m uplifted with encouragement, … as I hope you are.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank You for the truth of 1st John 1: 9, where any, like me, can come to You, as Peter did, and confess our sins and be cleansed and restored by your mercy and grace. Amen

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