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Summary: In our study tonight Jesus is drawing to a close His teaching for His disciples. The hour is at hand and His arrest is in the very near future! The disciples have a sense that something is going on, but their spiritual perception is dim and limited.

31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." 33 Peter said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death." 34 Jesus said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know Me." 35 And He said to them, "When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing." 36 He said to them, "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in Me: 'And He was numbered with the transgressors.' For what is written about Me has its fulfillment." 38 And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And He said to them, "It is enough."

In our study tonight Jesus is drawing to a close His teaching for His disciples. The hour is at hand and His arrest is in the very near future! The disciples have a sense that something is going on, but their spiritual perception is dim and limited.

Jesus uses these final moments before they depart the upper room to teach these men about humility, dependence on God, vigilance in their walk, the importance of their responsibility to God and a stern warning about the power of the enemy!

Let’s look at our verses tonight to see what Jesus was teaching and how that teaching applies to our lives today!

31 "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." 33 Peter said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death."

In v. 31 we find Jesus warning Peter about the enemy, but more than just a warning to Peter, this is Jesus revealing the ultimate nature of our enemy, Satan. It is Satan’s ever present desire to destroy God’s creation. Jesus tells Peter that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat…

Now I don’t know about you but on the surface… in OUR culture, that just doesn’t sound very scary! What is ‘sift’… it doesn’t SOUND very scary or foreboding… well when we look at the word sift we find that it means… to separate, to take out or eliminate, to scatter…

We need to fully understand the implication of what Jesus is saying here. That implication is that Satan desires to destroy anyone who has a relationship with Jesus.

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, then Satan does not worry so much about you… BUT when we come to know Jesus, Satan wishes to destroy us!

In this passage Peter represents the disciples called by Jesus… AND the disciples represent all who follow Jesus… so this verse is aimed at ALL believers who follow Jesus!

It is Satan’s desire to separate us from our relationship with God! He wants to tear us away from our walk and fellowship with Jesus. He longs to eliminate our witness by taking us out of our bond… by destroying our association with God. It is Satan’s ultimate plan to break up the body of Christ, but destroying us one by one…

He cannot destroy our soul, or get us to fall away from Christ, as we are firmly held in the palm of God’s hand! HOWEVER, he can destroy our witness and testimony before the world. He can rip us away from our mission here on this earth and send us in a spiral downward and hurt others as we fall.

This is Satan’s desire… this is who we face as an enemy. Jesus speaks about Satan and calls him the Father of all Lies! It started with him deceiving so many of the angels in heaven to rebel… then the Garden where he deceived Adam and Eve… and it has continued throughout history and today he still deceives millions into marginalizing Jesus and ignoring their eternal fate…

Jesus knew the enemy… Peter did not understand what he was up against… Peter did LOVE Jesus, Peter was faithful, and Peter was brave, but Peter did not understand the power and strength of his enemy! We see this in his life and in his words, look at v.33 33 Peter said to Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with You both to prison and to death."

Peter knew that Jesus in trouble with the religious leaders and understood what could happen to him and Peter was fully willing to go up against them with Jesus… but Peter had the wrong target as the enemy.

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