Peter, “Will you die for me?”

Journal Entry: Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jesus asked Peter the question, “Will you lay down your life for my sake? [John 13:38] Or, in other words, “Peter, will you die for me?” Jesus continues, “Most assuredly I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied me three times.” Jesus knew Peter a lot better than Peter knew himself. He knew Peter had a good heart and He knew Peter desired to follow Him, but He also recognized Peter was lacking courage despite his bravado. Peter didn’t know he was lacking anything especially in the courage department. He thought all it would take was a little bravado to follow the Lord and he could bluff his way through any circumstance he would encounter. He was wrong and Jesus knew it. The question Jesus asked Peter was designed to make him examine his true motives for following Him. The Lord knew it would cost Peter his life at some future date; and so in this question He was pointing this fact out to Peter, and Peter didn’t made the connection right then. But, he would learn from a slave girl that our bravery by itself isn’t always enough to carry us through a situation. Our courage will fail us when we need it the most if it isn’t anchored to something greater than ourselves. Did the Lord want Peter to fail? Absolutely not. He knew Peter’s false bravado would let him down because it isn’t true courage. So He was asking Peter to examine his heart. Peter wasn’t a coward and Jesus knew it; but Peter would sure look like one to many people later that night.

Jesus isn’t looking for people who think they can bluff their way through tough situations. He is looking for people who have their courage anchored in the Word of God and to the Holy Spirit because it will take that combination of courage to fulfill our roles in this earth. If we are serious about serving the Lord and we all should be; we will be sorely tested from time to time; and during those times, we will have to stand our ground or turn and flee. When Peter was faced with a similar situation; he fled. But the next time we see Peter’s courage being tested; he didn’t so much as bat an eye when the priest sentenced him to death. They knew he had denied Jesus the night before His crucifixion, and they thought if Peter was sentenced to die he would break again. But they didn’t know what Peter knew. He wasn’t acting alone any more; he had his courage anchored to the Lord Jesus Christ and when they locked him inside the inner prison chained to four prison guards, he fell sound asleep; and the angel who came to free him had to smack him in his side with his sword to wake Peter¬† up.

No, Peter didn’t understand the question Jesus asked him, “Peter, will you lay your life down for my sake?” but he certainly knew and understood now what he hadn’t understood the night before the crucifixion of Jesus. If he trusted in the Lord with all of his heart and leaned not on his own understanding;¬† the Lord would deliver him in his time of troubles. He delivered Peter from the innermost cell in the prison, and He will deliver me from this hundred thousand dollar mountain of debt, if I, like Peter, examine my motives and reasons for following Him. DThrash

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