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They Left all they had…

If you have read the Bible, you would know about how much it cost Jesus’ disciples to follow him. They literally left their means of livelihood, jettisoned all, to walk and work with him. Their hopes were in the eternal things that Jesus has got to offer them. Some of them had seen the Glory of Jesus, and were hoping to someday be rewarded with seats by his side in the Kingdom of God. 

Some of them had seen the Glory of Jesus, and were hoping to someday be rewarded with seats by his side in the Kingdom of God. Click To Tweet

Scripture:

31 Then 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 of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples. Matthew 26:31-35, NKJV

Would He dash their Hopes?

Against their hopes, Jesus came with a strange announcements. “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 of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”, said Jesus. That to me, is one of the nasty things anyone would say to people who have put all their hopes on him. But Jesus said just that. 

What has been Written…

We are in a time when the truth of God is completely awry and called negative thinking. Yet nothing can be done against the truth, no, the truth cannot be broken. And God is never afraid to speak forth His truth to us. We will always have the choice to believe it to our own blessing or ignore it to our own hurt. But the truth will remain solid for all eternity. In the plan of God, Jesus was to come to the earth as a shepherd and sacrifice. He was meant to be stricken down, such that he would not be able to resist his attackers. The striking would be so disastrous that all the hopes of his followers would fizzle out. They would literally take to their heels and scatter. That was in the plan of God and no prayer or faith would cancel or resist that. It was forever settled to happen. A prophet in the days before Christ actually saw that plan of God by the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and foretold it. 

God is never afraid to speak forth His truth to us. We will always have the choice to believe it to our own blessing or ignore it to our own hurt. Click To Tweet

The Unfolding of the Divine Plan

In due time and season, Jesus came to fulfill that reality and foretold prophecies, planned by God and written about by the prophets. So he was telling his disciples about a decision by the God-head that predates his disciples’ existence. Jesus said to them, “I, your master, will be stricken down, and all of you will surely scatter. You will all fall because it has been written in the eternal plan of God for it to happen. And to make it very clear, none of you will remain standing”. But then Jesus added, “I am making a provision for your reunion with me after your falling away; I will rise again from my downtrodden state (death) and because I will rise again (from death), you will also rise again and actually meet me ahead of you for a more powerful reunion and relationship with me than you had ever known.”

In due time and season, Jesus came to fulfill that reality and foretold prophecies, planned by God and written about by the prophets Click To Tweet

Brother Peter’s Response…

That announcement sounded too horrible to his disciples’ ears, in fact Peter took it more personal than the rest of Jesus’ followers. He said, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” As I read Peter’s words, I became afraid not for Peter but for myself. Why? I see myself in Peter as he spoke those words. That was too much for a mortal to say. But don’t we all speak like that too? As I ask the Lord to have mercy on me, he helped me see the implications of the words of Peter.

What was Peter saying right there? All may fall, but I will remain. And it is understandable why we often get so full of ourselves, especially when we do not have full understanding about why we were standing in the first place. Peter, like you and me, often fail to realize that the reasons we are standing in the first place are twofold: one, because the Shepherd is still standing; two, because others are still standing. If we know that truth and truly understand it, our responses, carriage and comportment will shift from one of ego to those of humility, sobriety and prayers. We will hold the helm of his garment and ask Him for help. 

If we know that truth and truly understand it, our responses, carriage and comportment will shift from one of ego to those of humility, sobriety and prayers. Click To Tweet

Challenging Our Misconceptions

First, the reason we are still standing is because Jesus is still standing. To think when the shepherd is stricken down that we will still be standing is  nothing but outright ego and pride. It is in fact a proof of our lack of understanding. Why would anyone of us think that we can stand rebuking the devil in faith when Jesus has yielded to the will of his Father by being stricken down? Why do we think we can confess the word for things to happen against the will of God? What makes us think we have the faith to speak forth the word of God against the everlasting counsel of God’s Word? Could Peter be the only one guilty of that? Sure we all are. We all do it. We all love to resist the devil against anything that does not look like God, even when sometimes God seems to be saying to us that it is His will, not the devil’s. 

First, the reason we are still standing is because Jesus is still standing. To think when the shepherd is stricken down that we will still be standing is nothing but outright ego and pride. Click To Tweet

Second, we are so quick to think we can do without the other believers in the body, especially out of the feeling that we are better and stronger in faith or more committed to God. We seemed to always think we surely love God and know him more than everyone else. We believe we will make it because of the denomination we belong to, the Bible knowledge we have, the theological training we have received, the kinds of people we have as disciplers, how many times we have read the Bible more than others, how long we spend in prayer, the number of spiritual gifts we have, how many souls we have brought to God’s kingdom, and how careful we have been in our walk with God. We love God so much that we would never deny him. If anyone would do it, no, never will it be us!

Second, we are so quick to think we can do without the other believers in the body, especially out of the feeling that we are better and stronger in faith or more committed to God. Click To Tweet

But we fail to understand that the reason we are still standing is because others are still standing. Elijah was once a victim of that thinking, and if Elijah could fall victim, which of us could be exonerated! Think of it this way, you are a part of the body, let us say, you are the head, yes you are so important in the whole body. You give the body so many things, such as eyes, noise, ears, moth, and teeth. You are the head and so very important. But then the rest of the body falls away, what happens to you as the head? You must still be standing, but surely not on the body, you must be standing on the floor, lifeless and drenched in blood. That is how important, yet dependent you are to the other part of the body. But Peter thought he could remain standing no matter what happens to the rest of his colleagues. No, that is not the truth. We cannot remain standing when all others are fallen away. 

Peter thought he could remain standing no matter what happens to the rest of his colleagues. No, that is not the truth. We cannot remain standing when all others are fallen away. Click To Tweet

He knows our Ignorance, Yet…

Jesus knew how ignorant Peter was and he does know our own ignorance also today. Yet he is certain about what He has said, that he added for Peter, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” What is more, Jesus was saying to Peter, you will not only scatter like others, you in particular will deny three times before the rooster crows. That was enough to destroy every self-ego of Peter.  But no, Peter went on insisting like many of us do today, especially those of us in the Pentecostal fold, sometimes resisting the will of God by faith and confessing the word of God to quench anything that is not palatable to our flesh but which sometimes are clearly God’s cup for us to drink. 

Peter said so boldly to his master, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”. The Bible says all the other disciples merely repeated the same thing they heard Peter said.

We sometimes resist the will of God by faith and confess the word of God to quench anything that is not palatable to our flesh but which sometimes are clearly God’s cup for us to drink. Click To Tweet

Things to keep in Mind…

Let me point out the key lessons again: One, It is not everything that appears like evil that comes from the devil. No, it is not every unpleasant cup in life that answers to positive confession of God’s Word or resisting by faith. When Jesus speaks forth the counsel of His father to us, we are unable to resist it. No, we cannot stop the eternal plan of God by faith. Faith works by aligning with the will of God and never vice versa. Two, no matter how much we resist the will of God because we feel it is against our understanding and sense of faith, it will surely come to pass. Three, when God allows for an unpleasant season in our lives, he will often make provision for our restoration and do it for his own glory and our own good. Four, when God gives us unpleasant cups to drink, we must always look out to him for Grace and align ourselves with his provision of restoration. Five, We can never remain standing when the Shepherd is fallen. We are only who we are because of his Grace. Six, we are unable to stand without others. As long as we are only a part of the body, we will always need the others in the Body to remain standing. Seven and finally, No Jesus will not dash our hopes. He cherishes our trust in Him and He is aware of all that we have left behind to follow Him. He will always keep that which we have entrusted in His Hands. 

No Jesus will not dash our hopes. He cherishes our trust in Him and He is aware of all that we have left behind to follow Him. He will always keep that which we have entrusted in His Hands. Click To Tweet
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Daily Scripture:

[Qualities Needed in Trials] So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; — James 1:19 (NKJV)
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