Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Luke 22:54-71

v. 54-62 The men seized Jesus and led Him away into the house of the high priest.  "Peter followed at a distance.  But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.  A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight.  She looked closely at him and said, 'This man was with them.'  But he denied it.  'Woman, I don't know Him,' he said.  A little later someone else saw him and said, 'You also are one of them.'" Peter replied, "Man, I am not!"  About an hour later someone else said, "Certainly this fellow was with Him, for he is a Galilean."  Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!"  After he spoke this the rooster crowed.  "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.  Then Peter remembered the word the Lord has spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows today, you will disown Me three times.'  And he went outside and wept bitterly."

This happened in the middle of the night.  The religious leaders wanted to get this done quickly so that they could celebrate the Sabbath.  Hard hearts will make actions seem right while actually disregarding the very laws they are supposed to follow.  When Jesus was led away Peter followed at a distance.  It had begun, the slow fade.  When there is a slow fade you don't notice the steep descent into the abyss.  Sin will creep in and when we compromise it will latch on to us with roots set deep.  The best time to banish sin is right at the beginning, once we wait it will multiply profusely.  We know Jesus gave Peter warning that this would happen and he still didn't see it.  Three people pointed Peter out as a follower of Jesus and he denied each one.  It is easy to speak a lie when it will spare us pain or danger.  Our words and our actions do not always line up.  Peter denied: knowing Jesus  (Woman, I don't know Him), being one of the disciples  (Man, I am not!), knowing what they were talking about  (Man, I don't know what you are talking about!).  When Jesus turned to Peter, he knew what had happened and wept bitterly.  He didn't just feel bad for disappointing Jesus, he had denied His purpose and turned on a friend.  But coming from this disaster, he grew stronger.  After this experience he was ready to truly follow Jesus no matter the cost.  The farther you fall the more you see the distance that separates us from Him and the more thankful you are that he would even think to pull us out of darkness.  Do not be so quick to judge this man.  This shows that when we turn away from Him, if we come back with a right heart He can do great things through us.  When you recognize your failure then He can work with you.

When we say we don't know Him, what a piercing sword we wield. 
When we say that we are not His, that is disowning you own family. 
When you say we don't even know what they are talking about, we deny His sacrifice.

v. 63-71 "The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating Him.  They blindfolded Him and demanded, 'Prophesy! Who hit you?'  And they said many other insulting things to Him.  At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.  'If you are the Christ,' they said, 'tell us.'  Jesus answered, 'If I tell you, you will not believe Me, and if I asked you, you would not answer.  But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.'  They all asked, 'Are you then the Son of God?'  He replied, 'You are right in saying I am.'  Then they said, 'Why do we need any more testimony?  We have heard it from His own lips.'" 

Here the mob mentality takes over.  People can get very brave to act out if they are going along with others.  Here these men were mocking and beating Jesus.  When you are at a low point and are being beat down from all sides whether from fist, actions or words, remember He has been there before you and will be with you during your times of trouble.  Jesus' trial as a sham.  These men had already made up their minds to have Him killed and they had the trials to make them seem justified.  Jesus was referencing an Old Testament title for God, I AM.  For anyone else to admit this would have been blasphemy (saying they were God) and the penalty for this crime was death.  Jesus was not just anyone, He was God's son so He did not break any laws by saying this.

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