|John 13 (NKJV™)|
|36||Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward."|
|37||Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake."|
|38||Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
An old Persian Proverb reads, "It's harder to ask a sensible question than to supply a sensible answer." Many times our questions to God are reactive—based on a sort of knee-jerk reaction to painful circumstances. Peter asked Jesus two questions of this sort. But whenever we ask God questions we must hang around to get the supplied answers. The questions Peter asked are similar to ones we frequently ask. Let's consider and apply Jesus' outstanding answer
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Pondering the Principles:
Figures Referenced: C. H. Spurgeon; Roy Riegels
Cross References: Psalm 103:14; Isaiah 40:31; Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 16:13; Matthew 16:21-22; Matthew 25:21; Mark 14:27-31 ; Luke 22:26-36; Luke 22:60-61; Luke 23:43; John 3:16; John 14:2-3; Acts 1:6-8; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:12; 1 John 5:13
Topic: The Upper Room Discourse
Keywords: questions, Peter, pride
As we like to do, let's pray before we begin our study. Lord we pause before we unpack these verses that we're given the night Jesus met with his disciples in that room for supper. We pause Lord because it's our belief and we're about to encounter the very words of the living God preserved for us in the person of Jesus Christ. And Lord these principles are life changing truths, they're comforting truths. And we understand your love for us on a whole different kind of level when we understand these verses. I pray to encourage your people Lord especially those who are feeling weary because of life and the way that they may have failed you in the past. I prayed the strength in the hands that hang down and give strength Lord to their ability to stand during this time.
Lord we thank you that we have these PA system that's able to broadcast outside and show a picture next door in the hub and our satellite campuses, we're just so grateful Lord that we're a part of your plan in this world and in this community, in Jesus name, Amen.
If you have children, you know the kids like to ask questions and as parents you learn how to answer their questions throughout life. I went to a website called Frequently Asked Questions that kids have about life and often asked their parents. Questions like, "Why do I have a bellybutton? Did Eve have a bellybutton? Where do hiccups come from? Does God have a beard? Why do people need to sleep? Why do penguins have wings if they can't fly? Why is the sky blue? What was God doing before he made the world? If God made us, then who made God? How do fingernails grow?" If you're a parent you got those answers nailed down, right?
Frequently Asked Questions, some businesses, advertisers, schools, etcetera, will provide a lists of frequently asked questions that they can give to people so the people might readily know what they're about, what they offer, what they product is like. And sometimes when you call businesses they will have voicemail that directs you to frequently asked questions or frequently asked for options. Now, have you ever wonder what it would be like if God had voicemail? It might sound something like this, "Thank you for calling heaven, for English press one, for Spanish press two, for all other languages press zero. Please select one of the following options. Press one for request, number two for Thanksgiving, press three for complaints, press four for all other inquiries. I'm sorry all of our angels are busy helping others right now. However, your prayer is important to us and will be answered in the order that it was received. So please stay on the line. If you would like to speak to the Father press one, to the Son press two, to the Holy Spirit press three."
"To find out if a love one has been assigned to heaven enter his or her Social Security number and then press the pound key. If you get a negative response try area code 666, for reservations to my Father's house, press the letters J-O-H-N and then the numbers 3-1-6. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, where Noah's Ark is please wait until you arrive. Our computer show that you've already prayed today, please hang-up and try again tomorrow. The office will be closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday. Please pray again on Monday after 9:30 AM. If you're calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local pastor. Have a blessed day".
Now compare that with what the bible actually promises like in Jeremiah Chapter 33 where God says, "Call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you know not."
God has given us his Holy Spirit living inside of us, he has given us the word of God to direct us and the combination of those two mean that God is in the business of answering questions. And we come to a conversation in the upper room in John Chapter 13. Really, it's not a conversation as much as an interruption by Peter that turns into a conversation. It only occupies three verses, verses 36, 37, 38 of John 13, between Jesus and Peter. Peter asked two questions of Jesus, I would say they're frequently asked questions by all believers. And Jesus gives two answers, and those two answers formed three principles that we're going to consider this morning.
Now something about Peter, as you read through the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you discover that, that Peter is very prominent. Peter speaks more than any of the other apostles. Peter is addressed more than any of the other apostles by Christ. Peter is rebuked by Jesus more than any of the other apostles. Whenever there's a list and there are four lists in the New Testament of the apostles the 12, Peter is always number one on the list. And Judas is always the last on the list.
Now we want to begin this morning, really backup in Verse 31, even though we're going to study Verse 36, 37 and 38. I want to begin a little bit back to get the flow of the context to understand the conversation once again. Verse 31, "So when he Judas Iscariot had gone out Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him."" If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and glorify him immediately. "Little children I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek me and as I said to the Jews where I am going, you cannot come, so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another."
So Jesus has been speaking up until now here's comes the interruption. Simon Peter said to him, "Lord where are you going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I'm going you cannot follow me now, but you shall follow me afterward." And Peter said to him, "Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake." Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for my sake? Most assuredly I say to you, the rooster shall not crow until you have denied me three times."
Two questions, two answers, three principles, question where, the question why. Frequently asked questions, we often say, "Lord, where?" And usually our questions, "Lord, where are you? "Where are you when I need you?" Or the question why, "Why Lord, did you let this happen? You could have stopped it." Lord where, Lord why.
Let's look at the first question and notice how it is phrased, "Lord, where are you going?" Now stop right there. Whenever anyone asks a question, it reveals something about that person, this reveal something about Peter. And in this question, "Where are you going Lord?" This reveals I believe Peter's self-centeredness. Now follow me on this. You read what Jesus has said to all of those people in that upper room, He's talked about glorying God, He's talked about loving one another, He talked about being able to share the reality of who we are with the world by our love for each other. Of all of those things that Jesus said, it's interesting that Peter focuses in on none of them. The only thing he focuses in on is that Jesus said he was leaving. Peter didn't go, "Oh, excuse me Lord, you talked about glorifying the Father, show me how to do that, I really need to know that."
Or, "Lord you just spoke about loving one another. I have a real tough time loving these guys. Would you help me? Would you show me how?" Now the first and only thing he said is, "Lord, where are you going?" Now why does he do that? Why does he focus on that thing that Jesus said and not the others? Well it's pretty simple. He didn't care about all the others, he didn't care about the stuff that Jesus said as much as he cares that Jesus said he's going to leave.
Let me give an example in my own personal life. When I was a kid, I distinctly remember my parents and they would go out in dates and go away for little short periods of time. But when I was a little kid they once announced to us boys, that they were taking an anniversary vacation alone apart from us to Hawaii. I remember not liking to hear that. I had some questions for them. I said, "Where are you going?" Like this, "Where are you going?" They said, "We're going to Hawaii." "How long are you going to be there?" "A couple of weeks." "What am I going to eat? What am I going to do while you're gone?"
You see, these were questions that I asked because I was worried about me. In other words I was saying, "Life is really good when you're here to take care of me." That's what it's like for Peter, "You're going somewhere? Where are you going?" That's the idea of this question. How many times have we been just like Peter? Just like Peter. Here is the Lord trying to reveal very profound life changing truths to us, like He was doing to Peter and the rest there that night. But we don't hear those truths. We're so focused on our own immediate need that his voice gets drowned out and we only pick up on one little thing like this.
I heard about a man who decided to go on a diet, and he was very serious about this. He was so serious that he even changed the route that he would go to work. And he use to drive every day by a bakery, said, "I can't do that, it's too tempting," because he would stop there everyday and have breakfast. He said, "I'm going on a diet." He was serious about it. Changed the direction in which he would drive to work, but one day he comes to work with a gigantic coffee cake, and everybody in the office looked at him and scolded him because he came with a coffee cake. And it's like, "Wait a minute. I thought you were on a diet?" And he said, "Now hold on, I know what you're thinking. This is a very special coffee cake." He said, "Today when I drove to work, I had forgotten that I changed routes and drove by that bakery. And as I drove by the bakery, I saw this coffee cake in the window as I drove by. And I thought, this can't be an accident. So I prayed. And I said, "Lord, if it's your will that I have that coffee cake then would you provide me a parking space right up in front of the bakery."" And he smiled and he said, "I'm sure enough." The eighth time around the block, there it was. Now, do you think he was praying in earnest when he was praying that? Was he praying to listen to God's voice? No, he was thinking about one thing and one thing only, that coffee cake and how he can get it.
Peter is zeroing in on the absent coffee cake in his life. Frequently asked question number one, "Lord, where are you?" Because it reveals He's going to do something for us. Second frequently asked question, "Lord, why?" And notice how Peter says this, "Lord, why can I not follow you now?" That's the question, notice it's followed up by a statement, "I will lay down my life for your sake."
Now do you recall that in that upper room on that night, the disciples had gotten into an argument, we mentioned this twice now. And it was the argument about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. Can you imagine the bickering back and forth? "I'm going to be." "No, I'm going to be." "No, I'm going to be the greatest." They were arguing about that. It's my belief, it's my hunch that Peter views this as a test, and he is determined, he's going to pass the test. For you see, Jesus had already predicted to these fellows in that upper room that one of those disciples was going to betray Him. They didn't know who that was at this point. Peter is thinking, "Okay I get it, I get it. This is a test like Caesarea Philippi when Jesus said, "Who demands say that I am?" And I got the answer right. It's one of those deals.
I'm going to prove that I am not the betrayer. And so he said, "Lord, why can't I follow you? I'll lay down my life for you." Thinking that Jesus is now going to say, "Congratulations Peter you are the greatest, you will be the greatest in the kingdom." That's not what he heard. What he heard is Jesus make a prediction that he would betray Him.
Now, it's always good when you have an eyewitness account to compare any other eyewitness accounts and we have a parallel to this in Mark Chapter 14. You don't have to turn there, let me just read it to you. I've selected the verse in advance, "Then Jesus said to them --. " Now, this is after the upper room, they're on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of me this night for it is written. I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. But after I've been raised I will go before you in the Galilee." Peter said to Him, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be." That's pretty bold thing to say when your buddies are around and Jesus just said, "All of you guys are going to fail me tonight." For Peter to say, "Ah, excuse me Lord. Yeah, you're right. They probably will. But I won't. Not going to happen." Jesus continues, "Assuredly I say to you, that today even this night before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." But Peter spoke more vehemently, "Even if I have to die with you I will not deny you." And so they all said, "Likewise."
I imagine that Peter when he heard Jesus make this prediction, he felt very well misjudged. He probably thought, "Lord, you don't really know me, do you? I'm so loyal to you. I would never do what you say I would do. I would never do that. Don't you know me? Don't you know how much I love you?" Well not really was the issue. Jesus knew Peter, better than Peter knew Peter. And He predicts exactly what's going to happen. But Peter here in our text asked a question and makes an assertion. As if to say, "It will never happen to me, I will never deny you."
Next time you think you are so spiritual and you'll never blow it ever again, you might want to remember what the mama whale once said to the baby whale. She said, "You know sweetheart? Once you get to the top and you start to blow that's when you get harpooned." Or to put it in a bible verse, 1st Corinthian Chapter 10, "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." Peter's gotten to the top, he's become prominent, his voice is heard in the New Testament, and he is so confident. Trouble is he is overconfident. He doesn't see the mistake that he's about to make. So two questions, frequently asked, "Lord where?" "Lord why?" Now Jesus gives answers and let's unpacked these answers in terms of three principles when we don't have answers in life.
Principle number one and we'll look at this in depth, "Your faithfulness, your present faithfulness is expected." Look what Jesus says. After Peter asked the first question, "Lord, where are you going?" Verse 36, "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now." Okay, stop right there, "Where I am going." Where is Jesus going? After He dies on the cross, after he rises from the -- where is he going? He's going back to heaven. He's going back home, back to His Father's house. "Peter I'm going there, you can't follow me there right now."
You noticed that Jesus' answer to Peter is a little bit cryptic. He doesn't answer him completely or directly, He doesn't say, "Now Peter, I'm going to the paradise of my Father's house. In fact tomorrow I'm going to be crucified. Three days later I'm going to be resurrected. I'll be hanging around here for 40 days. Forty days after that, I'm going to ascend to the right hand of my Father's thrown. You Peter, in 67 AD will die just outside of Rome and at that moment you'll follow me to my Father's house." He didn't given that complete information, all He says is, "Where I am going you can't follow me now." Here's my question, why does Jesus answer Peter's question cryptically rather than completely and directly?
Well, I can offer you two reasons. Reason number one, what good would it do anyway? Peter really was not listening to the words of Jesus. They were either going over his head, he wasn't grasping them. Because if you remember on another occasion, when Jesus was very complete and direct and said, "I'm going to Jerusalem, they're going to kill me and three days later I'm going to rise." Peter said, "No Lord, not so. It will never happen to you. We're not going to let this happen," that's Matthew Chapter 16. So Peter really wasn't in a place where he's really grasping what our Lord is saying. But reason number two, above and beyond that is this answer, reveals an expectation that Jesus has for Peter, "You can't follow me now." He's not saying, "Peter, you can't ever go to heaven." He just saying, "Peter you can't go now. You go later, you just can't come now."
Now as a parent, you can relate to that. How many times have you had to tell you children, "Not now, but later." "Mommy, can I go to the store?" "Not now, later." "Daddy, can we go on vacation?" "Not now, we'll go later on the summer." "Can I drive?" "Not know, but later." "When can I start dating?" "Not now, but later."
Now the truth is, those kids are going to grow up and enjoy all of those things. But what you're telling them is, "Right now, just enjoy being a kid." "Okay Peter, you're a disciple, you're a follower. You can't go now. You'll go, but in the meantime just be a follower." Now, when Jesus raises from the dead He's about to ascend into heaven, the disciples including Peter. This is Acts Chapter 1, "Say Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" "Okay, we've been waiting long enough, you've been hanging around for 40 days, is this now the time where we get our positions and our promotions and you establish the kingdom?" And Jesus said, listen carefully, "It's not for you to know the times and the seasons that my Father has put in His own authority, but you will be my witnesses and Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the other most parts of the earth. In other words, don't worry about the end times, worry about the meantime. God will take care of the end times, study it all you want, get excited about it. But don't get so hang up on it that you forget about the meantime, "I have an expectation of you disciples, Peter as well. To be occupied now, presently until I come."
Here is how I want to apply this. We love to talk about heaven. We love to sing about heaven. We love to comfort people who are on their deathbed and going to heaven. That's good. But we can't go to heaven yet. "What do you mean we can't go to heaven yet?" We can't, we're not ready for it. Jesus said, "I'm going to prepare a place for you, but we can't go yet." You say, "How do you know we can't go yet?" "Because here you are in church, on earth, and God have you here for a reason. And until you fulfill that reason He's not letting you go to heaven. Oh, you'll go there one day. Some of you might go this week. Some of you might not go for many more years. But you can't go now until you're finished with what God has for you here."
Now, it's a very fundamental but profound point. If God's purpose for your life was merely to get you to heaven, that's a big thing, but if it was only that? You know what would happen the very minute you accept Christ? You just kill over dead. He said, "Good, he is saved." "Quick get him out of here, get him to heaven." The way our UltraCalls would look very different wouldn't they? Instead of counselors we would have undertakers in the prayer room, just sort of dragging people up more to heaven. But, the fact that you and I are here shows that God has a plan and a purpose in the meantime as we look toward the end time.
Here's my challenge to you this week, Romans Chapter 12 Verses 1 and 2, that's your homework for this week. Go home and practice Romans Chapter 12 Verse 1 and 2. Those two verses read this way, "I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God that you present your body as a living sacrifice to God holy and acceptable, which is your reasonable service. And don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. That you might prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Plainly put you say, "God, here's my body, here's my life, show me what your perfect acceptable will is for me right here right now." And that's the principle that comes out of this answer of Jesus to Peter, "Your present faithfulness is expected. Where I am going, you can't come now."
Here is the second principle, your future is assured. Your ultimate future in heaven is absolutely assured. You'll notice the second part of that answer, "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, but you shall follow me afterward." According to tradition and church history, it was 67 A.D. when Peter died at Rome. They were going to crucify him in the common Roman method of execution, but Peter said, "I'm not worthy to be killed in the same manner as my Lord." And so according to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down.
So Peter followed Christ in life, he followed Him in death, and he followed Him in the glory. And please notice what Jesus says. Notice the certainty in His voice when he says, "You shall follow me afterwards." Not, "Oh Peter, I sure hope you make it. Peter, you ask a lot of stupid questions." And if you can get over a lot of those hang ups and issues and if you ever really do become the first Pope, well then maybe you'll make it into heaven Peter." No he says with absolute certainty no hesitation, "You shall follow me afterwards." Here's my point, salvation should be a sure thing for those who follow Christ. We shouldn't be ambiguous about it. If you are following Jesus Christ today, you believe in Him, you ought to know that you're going to follow Him all the way into heaven.
Now John, who is an eye witness of this, wrote a little book in the New Testament called 1st John. And in Chapter 5 this what he said, "I'm writing these things to you, so that you may know that you have eternal life." You ought to know it. You ought to be fixed. No hesitation. What did Jesus say to the thief on the cross with that little meager faith that thief have, He said, "Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise."
If you're traveling, you go to the airport. You notice there are basically two types of passenger. Number one, there's the confirmed ticketed passenger. Number two, there's the standby passenger. I don't know if you ever flown standby. I hate it. But I can be in an airport and I can tell who are the ticketed confirmed passengers and who are the standby passengers. It's pretty easy to tell. Ticketed confirmed passengers are relaxed for the most part. They sit down. They read a book. They sleep. They talk to one another. They grab a bite to eat. Not so with standby passengers, they hover and they kind of move around frigid to look. Because they don't know if they're going to get on that plane or not, they hope so but they don't know. They want to get to their destination but they're unsure.
So the difference, even though they both might make it to the same destination, is confidence. One has a ticket, one hopes to get the ticket. I think you catch my drift. If you knew that within this week you're going to stand before God, this life would be over. Would you be nervous about that? "Wow, what He's going to say to me? "Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord," or will He say, "Depart from me, I never knew you."" If there is one thing you need to be sure of is this, you need to be sure of it. "Well, how can I be sure? How do I really know?" The same way Peter knew, the same way the thief on the cross knew, because Jesus said so. "For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." If you trust Christ, if you follow Christ, if you're His disciple today, you'll follow Him all the way into heaven.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was so sure about his salvation he said, "If you believe in Christ and are damned, I shall be damned with you." So all I am saying is that if you're not sure, before you leave today, make sure you are a ticketed confirmed passenger.
Let's look at the third and final principle that emerges from the answer of Christ to Peter that's in Verse 38 and here is the principle, your failure is anticipated. Let me put that in another way. Your imperfection in following Jesus is anticipated. Listen to the words of Jesus to Peter the apostle, Jesus answered him verse 38, "Will you lay down your life for my sake?" It's an interesting interaction here. Peter says, "I'll lay down my life for you." If I were Jesus I would have said, "Excuse me Peter, that's my line. I'm going to lay down my life for you, not you for me." So he says, "Will you lay down your life for my sake? Most assuredly I say to you, the rooster shall not crow until you have denied me three times." Here Jesus predicts his failure. Was Jesus right of wrong? Of course he was right. Did Peter fail Jesus? Yes. Within a few hours, Peters going to deny that he even knows who Jesus is, "I don't even know the guy." It's going to be a bitter night for Peter.
Now Luke tells us the rest of the story. We're told in Luke Chapter 22, "While he was still speaking --," that is Peter saying, "I deny him." "While he was still speaking the rooster crowed and the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus said, "You will deny me three times."" What a look that must have been. When their eyes connected, how did Jesus look at Peter? We're not told, but I don't think he scowled or scorned or kind of that look like, see. I think it was a compassionate, caring, "I told you Peter I tried to prepare you for this. You must be feeling horrible and so embittered because of this." He looked at Peter, and Peter remembered that Jesus said, "You will deny me three times."
Now listen, God knows all about you, He knows all about your imperfections, He knows all about your failures, He knows all about your foibles and they don't surprise Him. Was Jesus surprised when Peter denied Him? Did Jesus give him a look like, "Oh, I can't believe you did that." When you fail the Lord, do you think God ever lets you and goes, "--? You mean you have that sin in your life? I never knew that, that sort of changes the whole thing now." Nope, He's not surprised by it.
Psalm 103, this Psalm has writes, "He understands how weak we are and He knows we're only dust." I remember first reading that text, it was so comforting to me. God knows how weak I am and He knows that I'm just dust. Have you ever seen dust on the floor? Dust on your furniture? Do you have a high expectation of dust? "You be good dust now. You be perfect dust now. You clean your self up." God knows our frame and He remembers that we are dust.
So here is Jesus, anticipating the failure of one of His chosen apostles, the great Peter. But that's not the end of the story. As Jesus predicted Peter's fall, Jesus predicted Peter's rising again. And again in the account of Luke, Jesus said these words to Peter, "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked for you that he might sift you like wheat, but Peter I pray for you. And when you have returned to me, strengthen your brothers." Jesus anticipated Peter would fall, but Jesus anticipated Peter would return and use that failure to mount up and learn from the failure and strengthen his brothers and sisters around him. "When you are returned to me, strengthen your brethren." I love that.
Let me tell you a story from 1929, now F.Y.I., I wasn't alive then. In 1929 at the Rose Bowl in California, there were two teams that squared off, Georgia Tech, University of California. One of the players for California was a guy named Roy Riegels. And in the first half of the game when Georgia Tech fumbled the ball, Riegels grab the fumble, recovered it, and started running toward the touchdown line.
The problem was, he was confused and he ran the wrong direction. He was actually running to make a score for Georgia Tech rather than his team California. Well one of his teammates saw the mistake that Roy had made, run after him as quick as he could, tackled his own teammate, 65 yards away from making a touchdown for Georgia Tech. The next play, Georgia was able to score the touchdown, Riegels felt horrible. He let down his team, he help score a goal for the opposite team. The question going around the stands at that game in 1929 is what is the coach for California going to do with Roy Riegels, one of the star players in the second half? At half time when the teams were on the locker room, Roy Riegels was in the corner, towel around his neck and he was just weeping like a baby. He had let everyone down. And then the coach made this announcement, "The players that played the first half will open the second half." Riegels look up and said, "Coach you can't mean, for the life of me I can't do it, I've ruined your life coach, I ruined everything for our team." The coach smiled and said, "Roy, the game is only half over."
Now, I got to tell you. Nobody played football like Roy Riegels played football in the second half of that game given a second chance. And here is Jesus, "Peter, you are going to fail me. I know all about you. I know all about your imperfection. But Peter, the game is only half over. I have a job for you to do." Do you feel like you failed the Lord at some point in your life? You fumbled the ball? You scored a touchdown for the other team perhaps? Your life isn't what it should be, what you wanted it to be.
True story, a man looked at the newspaper one morning and was shocked to discover his name was in the obituary column. That surprised him. He didn't even know he was sick, little as dead. So he went down to the newspaper and he complained, "Hey, you made a mistake. I'm alive and you put my name as dead." And they apologized, but the man was insisting, he said, "Do you know what this going to cost me? And the business I might lose because of your mistake?" And finally the editor said, "I tell you what, I tell you what I do for you. Tomorrow I'll put your name in the birth column and give you a second chance." Do you want to do over? Jesus is all about do over's. This is Peter and Jesus knew that even Peter would have a deep and dark failure, but it's all about the do over.
Listen, let failure be your teacher not your undertaker, didn't have to bury you. Mount up with wings as eagles and go forward with His grace.
Father in heaven, we love this story. We understand Lord what Jesus was getting across to His men that night. He expected their faithfulness to occupy, to not worry about following Jesus now into heaven. That they get there later and what an assurance that was to hear you shall follow me afterwards. But Lord even you know how weak we are and how imperfect our following of you is. How many times we blown it. And we felt so bad and we felt so ashamed. And some of us felt so surprised and shocked. It didn't shock you, it didn't surprise you. You know our frame. You remember we're dust. And I pray for those especially who are falling in battle or scarred up because of their own failures. I would pray that they would not cash in and walk away. I pray that you would cause them Lord to mount up and to learn from their mistake. And to now, be restored and return unto you and strengthen their brothers and sisters. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.