Friday, March 14, 2014

Jesus Predicted that Peter Would Deny Him

Not all the many prophecies fulfilled in the events surrounding the arrest, trials, crucifixion, death and resurrection were ancient prophecies, spoken or written hundreds of years earlier. In the same conversation we looked at yesterday where Jesus predicted that he, the Shepherd, would be struck and his flock of followers would be scattered, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times.

"Not me," Peter said (my paraphrase). "Never!"

But Jesus confirmed it.

" 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times,' " Matthew26:34.

This is Jesus speaking forth prophecy. Without a doubt. This was not an off-handed comment. This was details no one could know…unless one knows the future.

Jesus' prediction came true with alarming detail in the next few hours through the night.

After his third denial, when he heard the rooster crow, Peter remembered. (Tweet that!)

"The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: 'Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times' " (Luke 22:61).

The Lord Jesus must have been passing between buildings from one trial to another, or in some other way was able to make eye contact with Peter. What do you think Peter felt in that moment?

What do you think filled Jesus' eyes in that look? Tears of disappointment or disgust? Never! Jesus' eyes surely held nothing but love for Peter.

When Jesus looks at you, trying to get you to look in his eyes, he is not looking at you with disappointment or disgust. Jesus looks at you—yes, even you—with nothing but pure, honest love.

When you see and firmly understand Jesus' love for you, what do you feel in that moment?

Jesus not only predicted Peter would deny him three times, the gospel-writer Luke also tells us Jesus said:

"And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:32).

Can you see the prophecy and encouragement in that? Jesus knew Peter would deny him three times. And yet Jesus looked beyond that and he gave Peter something to do afterwards. No doubt this carried Peter forward when he probably wanted to quit. Peter did indeed strengthen his brothers…and so many of us through the ages with his courageous speeches recorded in Acts, his writings, and the rest of his life through to his death.

Peter had a major failing. But he turned it around and, possibly because of that major failing, his life was triumphant.

As we look around today, we sense something is coming. Many of us know major events are just beyond the horizon, even if most the people seem unaware of it or asleep to it.

What exactly is coming? We cannot know exactly what each of us will experience in the future, but Jesus knows. And right now we can work to strengthen our brothers and sisters. We can pray right now for our own strength in future challenges so that we will not deny Jesus Christ but will stay strong for him. No matter what we face. Even if we find ourselves living in the End Times.

Here is a prayer we can pray:

LORD Jesus, you know what it coming. You know when it is coming. Help me to never deny you. Help me to strengthen others in their faith in you. Help me live strong for you to the very end. If I do fail you, help me to turn back immediately and start again. Help me not to be afraid of what I see around me, but to be awed by what I see when I look in your eyes: that you love me and you will hold me firmly throughout whatever may come. Amen. (Tweet that!)

If you are enjoying these posts, you may also enjoy the book Prophecies Fulfilled in the Death & Resurrection of Jesus. For more information, click the "Prophecies Fulfilled Books" tab above.

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