Follow Me (part 2)

Posted: February 21, 2009 in Life Change, My Faith

Fast forward three years…

Here we see Peter as the loud and outspoken disciple. Jesus just had his last supper with His disciples and explained to them what was about to happen, even though they didn’t fully get it. Now they are in the garden and Jesus asked them to pray, as He was in deep agony over what was about to transpire. He asked them to pray. They slept. Why? Because they didn’t get it. They have been following Him for 3 years and have seen the most amazing things that have ever happened, yet they didn’t get it. Peter thought he did though. He told Jesus in an earlier conversation that he would be willing to die for Him, and would never deny Him. This is like the level of utmost pride. Can you imagine looking God in the face and tell Him He’s wrong? That’s exactly what Peter was doing. It’s crazy to me how Peter looked at this conversation as a deep level of humility and sacrifice by saying “no, I will never deny You, I will die for you” and it truly was pride and arrogance in its most visible outspoken form. So as Jesus prays in agony, Peter slept. This thought hit me hard when I was studying today. It’s humbling when you sit down to read the Bible, only to have the Bible read you. That ever happen to you? When you are reading to see what an awesome passage you can pull out, yet the Holy Spirit is reading what is really in you. That was this verse for me. I hate when God has something so serious for me and my life that He wants me to get, yet I sleep right through it. I would hate to know how many times I missed out on something amazing only because I was sleeping when God wanted me praying.

A couple hours later we see Peter’s pride step forward again. As the Roman soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter pulls his sword out and cuts off Malchus’ ear. Of course Jesus in the most humbling and willing form, put it right back on. You know the most evident thing for me about this story is Peter’s heart. I truly believe Peter was ready for the “big thing.” Right then and there, he would be willing to be arrested with Jesus and even to the form of death. I truly believe that. Why? Because it’s in the spotlight. It’s easy to do things when you have a bunch of eyes watching, it gets tough when you’re on your own. This is the heart behind Peter. That’s why he was so quick to draw his sword.

So when they arrest Jesus they take him to the house of the High Priest to question Him and mock Him. Now this was a place of high society, not just anyone could walk in to witness this scene. For whatever reason, John knew the high priest on a personal level and was able to enter the courtyard and get Peter in. Now the stage is set for what I believe could be the most humiliating act ever committed by a Christian. Here we see Peter walk in and tries to just blend in so He can see what’s going on without making a scene. The crazy thing is, Peter can’t even get through the gate without denying Christ. The servant girl who was the keeper of the gate asked him if he was a follower. It’s crazy to me, that of all the high society people that are here, the lowest person of status calls him out. He denies. He then walks over to where some guards and others are around a fire pit to keep warm on this cold night. He places himself in a view where he can see inside the house and see them mocking and questioning Jesus. Then another servant girl, ironically enough, calls him out again. He denies. Then as the people start stirring up around him, a slave servant to the High Priest calls him out a third time. This time he knows he’s busted because the guy that called him out was Malchus’ cousin! He denies again, only he had to prove his denial by using obscene language to where everyone would know he was not a follower. The rooster crowed. It was at this point where he remembered exactly what Jesus said was going to happen. He wept bitterly. I’ve been here. I know what it is like to awaken to the fact that you totally turned your back on Christ. It’s a personal time. That’s why the Bible doesn’t go into detail about where Peter ran away too. He just left and had to go make things right with God on a personal level.

I’m so glad for John 21. Jesus had already met with the disciples a couple of times in the upper room since his resurrection. But the middle of John 21 outlines a perfect view of restoration after falling in a hideous sin in which Peter had done. As you have probably heard many times and in many messages, Jesus asked Peter here 3 times if he loved Him. Of course it can easily be compared to the 3 times that Peter denied Him. At the end of their conversation Jesus basically is telling Peter that one day he’s gonna die for his faith. The amazing thing here though is the last thing He says. “Follow me.” I love this. To me it’s the simple fact that Jesus is still saying the same thing he did from the very beginning. His point to Peter was that He knew Peter had seen Him do many amazing things over those 3 years. He healed many, saved many, even brought people back from the dead. Yet his will to him had never changed, it was quite simple. “Follow me.” He was essentially telling Peter, no matter what you have seen or are going to see, there will never be a time when you don’t need me. Don’t get ahead of me, just stay right behind me. Follow me… Wow.

  1. Amy says:

    This is good. I like your thoughts on this.

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