Then Jesus told them, "This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:" 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. 'But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."
Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."
But Peter declared, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the other disciples said the same. Matthew 26:31-35
How many times in a moment of emotion have we pledged our undying commitment to something? If we can just get one more chance, we will never ________ or we will always ________. Fill in the blank.
Why couldn’t it be that easy? We could just declare what we wanted to be, and boom, it would happen. We could be thinner, smarter and better looking all in one fell swoop.
Peter’s sentiment bore some truth. While he expressed this in an idealistic and impulsive way, according to history, Peter did die for Jesus and never disowned him, later on. But, for now, there were a few things Peter needed to work out.
His heart was in the right place. The problem was that the rest of him just wasn’t quite there. For any of us that have made a new year’s resolution, we can certainly relate.
Sure enough, while Peter waited in the courtyard during Jesus’ trial, three different people ask him if he was one of Jesus’ disciples. Three times Peter denied belonging to Jesus. Then, the rooster crowed, and Jesus’ words sunk in. (Matthew 26:69-75). At times it would certainly seem easier to die for Christ than to live for Him. Peter probably felt that Jesus would be done with Him at this point.
But, a remarkable thing happened. Not 60 days from those denials, Peter stood up and spoke to thousands on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-41). As his sermon concluded, about 3000 accepted the message and were baptized (Acts 2:41). Apparently, Jesus wasn’t finished with Peter.
What are the things that you would like to be, but just aren’t? What would you like to stand up and declare? Don’t give up on it. Just don’t expect everything to happen all at once. Maybe you’ve even made a complete fool of yourself like Peter, if you’re humble about it, God can even use your foolishness (and mine) to help you grow.