Summary: Jesus asks us the question daily: Are Ye Able? What is to be our response?
ARE YE ABLE?
INTRODUCTION… Words to the hymn “Are Ye Able”
READ MATTHEW 26:30-35
I. THE PROPHECY OF JESUS ABOUT ABILITY
We begin this morning by looking at some words that Jesus said… a prophecy / prediction of the future. Jesus was telling His disciples that they would not last through the trial that was ahead of them. He said that they would all fall away that very night! Jesus had already told these 12 close friends of His that the end was near, but this was the first time He predicted that they would fall away. They would desert Him. These 12 men who has walked and talked and learned from Him for 3 years would desert Him in His hour of need.
Peter, not liking what he was hearing, spoke up, “To death we will follow you!” (V. 33) Imagine this: Peter, this huge weather-beaten fisherman stood up from among the 12 disciples and with his chest out and his head held high he says, “I will never fall away!” (v. 35) He was adamant that he would not waiver and all the other disciples agreed with him. These romantics looked at the coming days and said they would follow Jesus all the way to death.
I ask you, did Jesus’ prophecy come true? How did the evening end? What did these disciples do when the course of action that led to the crucifixion began?
Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus
John was around and went to Jesus’ trial (John 18:16)
Peter followed close behind out of sight
Peter was alone in the courtyard. The reality of following Jesus into death seemed to have more reality to it than it did a few hours ago. I think Peter followed Jesus not intending to deny Jesus. But fear gripped him, not once, not twice, but three times. Fear wrecked the plans of Simon Peter to die with his Lord. Jesus’ words did come true. None of the disciples followed Him to the cross, but all hung back and fled and hid away from their dreaming statement of: “We will die with you.”
II. WE ARE NOT ABLE
I submit to you this morning that we have much in common with the 12 disciples on the
Night Jesus was betrayed. Every day that we spend on this Earth, Jesus asks us: “Are you able?” And like the 12 disciples we stand up and proclaim to our God that “Yes, we are able!” and we mean every word. We, like the disciples, are sincere... some of us, anyway. Others of us might be like Judas Iscariot and are just mouthing the words until we can get out of church. Jesus asks us the question: “Are you able?”
If we are able…
Why then is there so much violence in the world? Why do teenagers have to fear going to school? Why do we constantly have to talk about gun control?
Why then are there people hungry, thirsty, and in pain everywhere with no one to help?
Why then do we resent one another and hold grudges?
Why then is the divorce rate equal in percentage among Christians as it is among non- Christians? Why are 60% of our children growing up without a nuclear family?
Why then does man create so many ugly, horrific, and degrading things in this wonderful world God has made?
I will tell you why: We are not able!
III. HE IS ABLE
Do we have no hope then? Is there no way out of this mess? When Jesus asks us, “Are
you able?” should we answer “yes” or “no” or “go around and come back to me” ?
I want you to know that we are not able to follow Jesus out of our own strength.
We are not able to resist temptation on our own accord.
We cannot bring anyone to salvation no matter our efforts.
We are not able to stand with Him in front of the authorities and die with Him.
We simply cannot do it by ourselves. We are not able. We do have hope, however. I am going to be a Monday-morning-quarterback and tell you what Peter and the other disciples should have said. Peter should have said, “Lord I will die with You, but only in Your strength.” Lord I will resist that temptation, but I need your Holy Spirit to fill me. Lord I will talk to my neighbor about You, but I realize I can only plant the seed and it is Your job to water it.
We can do nothing on our own. When we try in our own strength, whatever it is, we fail. Sin gets the better of us. Fear gets the better of us. Doubt gets the better of us. But if we rely on Jesus and His power, then we will be able to accomplish anything that comes our way.
CONCLUSION… WOW CD 2000 #6- “He is Able”