Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Luke - Peter's Denial

Luke 22:55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.

Peter, outside, not with the Lord, is alone, cold, concerned, perhaps questioning what had happened. Had he failed the Lord? Was he the one the Lord was talking about at the table of the last supper, who would betray him? He remembered Jesus saying he would deny him, but did he not defend him with the sword, yet that was not enough. What did the Lord require of him? Many of us ask this and begin to question ourselves as we appear to be alone, warming ourselves outside, in the world from another's fire.

Luke 22:56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.
Luke 22:57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.

Voices speak mockingly to us, accusing us. Peter denies that he was with Jesus. He just wanted to be alone with his thoughts. Why was this woman bothering him? Why the voice inside his head tormenting him? Was he the Lord's chosen? Or was he a sinner, a betrayer?

Luke 22:58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.

How did that man know him? He was in torment, in his mind satan howled at him, and now this man accuses him, is there no escaping these accusations?

Luke 22:59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.

A third person points out Peter as one of Jesus' followers. He is a Galilaean, he has that strange dialect.

Luke 22:60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.

Peter denies his accusers a third time, He wanted peace, to be left alone with his struggles. Why do they not leave him alone? The cock crew. A rooster? or was it the town crier speaking, all is well? All was not well with Peter, he suddenly remembered the Lord's words to him.

Luke 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Oh no, Jesus turned and looked at Peter, as a father looks at a disobedient child to remind him he is to be obeyed. Conviction comes with the accusations. He had denied the Lord three times!

Luke 22:62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

As a child who loves his father goes out weeping at the shame of failing him, Peter goes out. The devil perhaps shouting in his mind. You failed your master, you are the one, you are the betrayer! Many tears fill his eyes, he is undone, he weeps uncontrollably in deep sorrow and regret.

Have you felt this way? Have you failed the Lord and felt undone? Have you felt that there was no hope for you? That is not to be something to be ashamed about. It is good. It is a sign that you really do love Jesus, you really do want to do right. Do not think you will not be received by him? Do not let accusers keep you away from him. Do not let the terrible words in your mind control your future. Jesus loves you. Yes, he loves you and seeks you. He wants you to come to him and be received with great joy. For it was for you he came and gave his life. Come to him.

Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Rom 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Rom 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rom 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

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