Summary: We are to practice humility.
AN EMBARRASSING FAILURE
S: Peter’s Denials
Pr: WE ARE TO PRACTICE HUMILITY.
TS: In our study of John 18.15-27 we will find how Peter’s weakness is exposed.
I. UNDERCOVER (15-18)
II. UNDERHANDED (19-24)
III. UNDERCURRENT (25-27)
IV. UNDERSTANDING (27)
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Practice humility.
• Practice it or find it enforced.
RMBC 11 March 07 AM
1. Have you ever really been embarrassed?
ILL Embarrassment (H)
A young man called his mother and announced excitedly that he had just met the woman of his dreams. Now what should he do? His mother had an idea: "Why don’t you send her flowers, and on the card invite her to your apartment for a home-cooked meal?"
He thought this was a great strategy, and a week later, the woman came to dinner. His mother called the next day to see how things had gone.
"I was totally humiliated," he moaned. "She insisted on washing the dishes."
"What’s wrong with that?" asked his mother.
"We hadn’t started eating yet."
Well, I suppose that would be embarrassing…
I think, though, that what really embarrasses us as a person is when we fail to keep our word.
We have said that we are a certain type of person, but we fail to show it on our lives.
Or we say we will do this certain thing, but then we do not do it.
This is true about our faith as well.
Every day we face situations that put our faith and commitment to Christ to the test.
Perhaps you are a student and you are talking to your friends, and you start telling about something funny that happened at church, and one of your friends says, “Church! You go to church?”
Anticipating the ridicule of your peers, you just say, “Oh I go just to keep my parents off my back…”
Perhaps you are at the end of your work day, and once again your coworkers encourage you to join them for a good time at a local bar, carousing and gambling.
Because you made a commitment to Jesus long ago, you have resisted that repeated invitation.
But on this particular day, you were really feeling discouraged about work and your finances and your family, and so you went with them.
That night, you got drunk and did things you could not believe you would do.
Awaking the next morning with a huge hangover, waves of guilt sweep over you and you feel as your life is over.
Perhaps, as a single person, you have made a commitment to wait until marriage for a sexual relationship, and had been faithful to that promise.
But one night in May, you broke that commitment because of the pressure you were feeling by your new sweetheart.
Afterwards, though, the relationship changed and the suitor moved on to someone else and you feel used and ashamed that you did not keep yourself pure for your future spouse.
Each one of us, as Christians, faces temptation to compromise our values and standards.
Each one of us faces persecution for what we believe.
And when we fail, it is embarrassing, or at least, it should be!
This brings us to Peter.
He was blessed to live and walk with Jesus for three years.
But Peter had a knack for getting it wrong.
He was a man of great passion.
He was the type of person that would act or speak first, then think about it later.
Nevertheless, Jesus understood that he had great potential.
2. Peter has embarrassed himself by not understanding the necessity of the cross.
In Matthew 16, we are told of the incident where Peter attempts to talk Jesus out of His plans.
The text says…
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
This was not the first or last time that Peter did not get it right.
In fact, it is a pattern.
Over and over again, Peter shows that he does not get what Jesus must do.
3. Instead of embracing God’s plan, Peter has fought it.
This was evident in our study last week, when Jesus and His disciples were confronted by the betrayal of Judas.
Judas has brought a band of men, both Romans and Jews, to arrest Jesus in the garden.