Summary: Actions that lead to the denial of the Lord.
Matthew 26:31-35, 57-75
Chad H. Ballard
Language is such an important thing. It is how we communicate. It’s how we get our thoughts and ideas through to others.
And if you’ve ever tried to talk to people who speak another language, you know how difficult it is to try to make them understand what you are thinking.
The Apostle Paul was a man who could speak many languages. When Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem, falsely accused of bringing a Greek into the temple, it was to his benefit that he spoke Greek so that the commander of those who arrested him could understand him and know that he was a Roman citizen, which gave Paul special rights that he often used.
And when he was allowed to address the mob that had accused him, he spoke Aramaic, an ancient Hebrew dialect that was mostly used by the priests. It was the language that Jesus had spoken. And it let the Jews know that he was one of them, so as to earn their trust.
And so in this we see that if you want to get the Gospel to the people, you have to speak a language they understand. And language barriers are sometimes hard to overcome.
I read a story this week about a Mexican bandit who had been coming across the border to rob banks and then running back to Mexico with the loot.
A huge reward had been offered for his capture, so a Texas Ranger decided to set out after him. He waited in a cantina until the bandit came in. Then he put his gun to his head and said, “Where did you hide the money?”
There was a problem. The Ranger only spoke English and the bandit only spoke Spanish.
A bilingual lawyer happened to be in the cantina and offered his assistance to the Ranger. The ranger said, “Ask him where he hid the money.” So the lawyer did.
The bandit, in Spanish answered, “Under a log, out behind the cantina.” The ranger said, “What’d he say? What’d he say?”
The lawyer said, “He says, ‘I’m not telling. I don’t believe that Gringo has the guts to shoot me!”
If we don’t speak the language, we can’t be effective for God.
I’m afraid sometimes the language of our mouths is foreign to the language that our actions are speaking.
The Bible tells us of a time when Peter allowed his words to speak one language and his actions to speak another. The account begins in Matthew 26:31-35 (read).
Peter’s words were certainly speaking a language that was bold for Christ, weren’t they? As a matter of fact, Peter’s words take on almost an arrogance, insinuating that it might be possible for one of the others to betray Jesus, but certainly not Peter.
But as you know, actions always speak louder than words.
And this morning, as we take a closer look at Peter’s denial of Jesus, I want to share with you some ACTIONS that lead to denial of the Lord.
I. The DISTANCE we follow the Lord will be safe. (Read 26:58) Peter was following at a distance! He sat down with the officers, the enemy! What happened to the Peter who cut off Malchus’ ear? Why in the world isn’t Peter right up in the mix defending Jesus? Well probably because of the same reasons many Christians are trying to follow Jesus at a safe distance.
A. We want to avoid the ASSOCIATION we have with Him. Peter didn’t want anyone to know that he was associated with Jesus. He was probably afraid of what might be done to him if the Sanhedrin knew that he was one of Jesus’ disciples. He knew how ruthless these men could be.
1. I believe that most of us, at one time or another, have felt the same way. Now I don’t mean to say that you have feared for your life if you admit openly to being a Christian.
2. But what I do mean is that many of us have chosen at some point to just remain quiet about our faith when we felt the urging to speak up.
3. We find it easy to talk about Jesus when we’re sitting in Sunday school. We find it easy to talk about Jesus in Discipleship Training time. But how easy is it to talk about Jesus in the work place? How easy is it to talk about Jesus when we’re not surrounded by church folk?
4. And it’s at these times that we are denying Christ by avoiding an association with Him.
5. Now I know what some are thinking. You might be thinking, “Well if I talk about Jesus all of the time, people might think I’m some kind of fanatic or something.”