Summary: We are often like the character Humpty Dumpty. Peter was too.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty together again!
There is more than a nursery rhyme there. It is a parable of life, its injuries and the failure of human effort alone. This is an EGGsample of Folly.
I see a parallel to it in the experience of the Apostle Peter. We read in John’s gospel, “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.’ The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. There was reclining on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, ‘Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.’ He, leaning back thus on Jesus' bosom, said to Him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus then answered, ‘That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.’ So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’ Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, ‘Buy the things we have need of for the feast’; or else, that he should give something to the poor. So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night. Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. ‘By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.’ Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered, ‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.’ Jesus answered, ‘Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.’” John 13:21-38 (NASB).
In a way, Peter was on a wall; one of his own making; the wall he erected was the wall of prideful self-confidence from which he viewed the 11 as less committed than he. He, too, was an EGGsample of folly.
He boasted, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” Matthew adds this detail, “Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, “I will strike down the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.” But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.’ But Peter said to Him, ‘Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.’ Matthew 26:31-33 (NASB).
But, what, egg-zactly, do we learn from this Scripture and poem?
I. HUMPTY DUMPTY SAT ON A WALL:
A. Likewise, there sat Peter on the wall of proud self-confidence, feeling superior to the other 11 in commitment and courage. Like Peter, Humpty Dumpty also sat on the wall. The wall, of course, was not the wall of a room, but a garden wall, or rock fence. But, why was he on the wall in the first place? What did he hope to accomplish?
1. Was he merely showing off?
2. Was he bravely trying to overcome the fear of heights?
3. Was he paying for a lost bet?
4. Was he taking a dare?
5. Was he trying to get out of reach of people?
6. Was he seeking a loftier view than from ground level?
B. We may never have answers to those questions, nor do we need them. But we certainly can learn something from the fictitious event.
1. Sometimes we, too, sit on a wall.
a. The wall might be a barrier we erect between us and another person. We sit on that wall to keep them from breaching it. People build too many walls and not enough gates! But God is a wall breaker. “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups [Jews and Gentiles] into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, Ephesians 2:14 (NASB)