Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Eyes Told You So
When the Roman soldiers arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples were scattered. This event occurred as predicted by God’s long-standing prophesy in Zechariah 13:7, which says, “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.” Nine of the disciples followed Jesus’ instructions and dispersed to safe locations. For very different reasons, John and Peter stayed discretely close to Jesus.
John, who “was known to the high priest” (John 18:15), capitalized on his connections and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. Peter, however, had no relation to the high priest and was just being his usual, impetuous self. Perhaps Peter was trying to live out his promise that he was “ready to go with you to prison and to death (Luke 22:33), which he proudly proclaimed to all at the Last Supper just hours before.
Peter waited outside the courtyard until John spoke to the servant girl to let him in. No sooner had he come inside than she burst out in question “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” (John 18:17). Peter then denied Jesus for the first time. Perhaps Peter was caught off-guard and in his typical, unthinking fashion, blurted out his answer of denial. Were the words of Jesus predicting his three-fold denial present in his mind (Mark 14:30)? Or, was he just relieved to have escaped notice in a dangerous situation?
One might wonder if John, standing there with Peter and the servant girl, gave Peter a quizzical look, “giving him the eye” so to speak, incredulous at Peter’s denial. John was present at the Last Supper when Jesus had announced His prediction of Peter’s betrayals. Seemingly John would not forget the words of his LORD about such a horrific event. Now Jesus’ prediction was coming true before his very eyes. Surely there must have been a bit of sadness in John’s heart that his fellow disciple, a man of faith, was now disavowing his Master. The pain must have been especially wincing after witnessing and experiencing Judas’ betrayal of our LORD.
Accused in the gateway by a second girl (Matthew 26:71), Peter again denied his association with the Master. Could even impetuous Peter not have been mindful of Christ’s prediction after this second denial? Jesus had given him “three strikes”, and Peter had used up two. Then, just as Jesus was apparently being led from the house of Caiaphas to His trial in front of the entire Sanhedrin, Peter was accused once again of being seen in the olive grove (John 18:26). Again Peter denied knowing Christ. Strike three.
Just as Peter was issuing his words of denial, “the rooster crowed.” and “The LORD turned and looked straight at Peter”. Then Peter remembered the word the LORD had spoken to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times” Luke (22:60-61). Jesus didn’t have to speak to Peter to get His point across. This was a bitter moment where the eyes told you so. Our LORD’s clear, calm eyes looked straight at Peter’s heart and delivered a message that should make us shudder.
For two thousand years Peter has been used as the iconic scapegoat for denying his association and affection for Jesus. Remember, however, the scapegoat represented every man (Leviticus 16:6-10). Each of us, in our own ways, denies Jesus every day. Christians frequently deny Him by their silence, failing to speak up for Him when He or His name is blasphemed. Christians deny Him by exhibiting behavior that is not Christ-like. Others act as a Christian should, yet fail to give Jesus the credit when the success and accolades come. Still others deny Him by setting their priorities around their own needs instead of the needs of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:21) and those who are less fortunate.
Before we throw the first stone and speak too harshly about Peter’s failure, we should examine closely our own behavior. Too often we could be accused of denying Jesus. Let us not cast the first stone. Jesus prayed for Peter, loved him, and looked forward to his restoration. Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him, yet welcomed him back and restored Peter after His resurrection (John 21:15-19). Peter wept bitterly in remorse and Jesus took Him back. Have you wept bitterly for your denials of Christ?
Jesus will take you back if you lovingly turn to Him. Jesus knows your sin better than you do, but He is always willing to take you back if you repent and go to Him. He makes sin forgivable, even to scapegoats, to repeat offenders, and to those with three or more strikes who feel left out.
Be a Peter, a person who was willing to be bold. Peter failed publicly and miserably, yet trusted in His Savior to restore him to his faith, which Jesus gladly did. If you have wandered from your faith, be a Peter. Don’t worry that others have seen you fail, perhaps publicly, as with Peter. Jesus Christ is the same Jesus Christ today as He was when He watched Peter deny Him for the third time. Jesus told Peter with His eyes that He will always love us and restore our faith if we ask. He’s told us that He will always be there for us. Trust in Him, for His eyes have told you to do so.
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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