Summary: When you face a crisis, don't depend on your own strength; depend on the Lord. "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation."
A recent (2013) Super Bowl ad, featuring the Mercedes Benz CLA, packs a powerful message. Take a look (show Mercedes Benz 2013 Super Bowl commercial). The ad starts with a thirty-something man sitting in a cafe. As the waitress serves him a cup of coffee, the man looks out the window and sees two workmen unveiling a new billboard for the Mercedes CLA. His eyes look longingly at the car when a man dressed in black sits across the table from him. The Satan-figure (played by Willem Defoe) says, “Nice car!” “Sure is,” the young man agrees.
The Devil himself then holds a gold fountain pen in his fingers with pointed and polished fingernails. He says temptingly, “Make a deal with me, kid, and you can have the car and everything that goes along with it.”
As the young man takes the pen, he visualizes himself in a series of scenes that represent all the world has to offer. In the first scene he drives his Mercedes to a red carpet awards ceremony, exiting the car with a gorgeous woman on his arm. In the next scene, he's at a nightclub dancing side-by-side with his good buddy singer-songwriter Usher. Then the young man is driving his car with several attractive women as passengers. In the next scene he's a popular model being photographed for trendy magazines. Finally, as he jumps into his car to escape a mob of women, he's suddenly driving a Formula One race course speeding by the lead car.
Then the ad shifts back to the young man back at the table in the café. The tempter asks, “So what do you say?” Holding the gold pen, the young man's eyes stare down at the contract and then gaze out the window where he sees the relatively low price of the Mercedes on the billboard. He says to the devil, “Thanks, but I think I've got this!” And immediately, the tempter disappears in a cloud of smoke. (vimeo.com/58895204; www.PreachingToday. com)
Sad to say, that’s the way many people handle temptation. They say to themselves, “I’ve got this,” expecting the tempter to disappear in a cloud of smoke, but what really happens when we approach life with that attitude? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 14, Mark 14, where Jesus’ own disciples had this attitude.
Mark 14:27 Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away” [lit., you will all be scandalized, you will all be offended] for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”
What is about to happen to Jesus will so scandalize his disciples that they will run as fast and as far away from Him as they possibly can. They don’t want the same thing happening to them, so they will scatter to the winds.
Mark 14:28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” (ESV)
Even though troubling times are ahead, even though His disciples will fail Him, Jesus holds out the promise of restoration. Oh, what grace! It’s like He says to them, “Hey, I’m going to be killed. You’re going to desert me for fear of your lives, but we’ll get together again. I’ll meet you all in Galilee after I rise from the dead.”
Mark 14:29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” (ESV)
Even though all the rest are scandalized, I will not be in the least bit offended. I will stick by you no matter what. In other words, “Jesus, I’ve got this. You don’t have to worry about me. I can handle whatever happens, so count on me.” That’s Peter’s attitude, but look at what Jesus says to him.
Mark 14:30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” (ESV)
Jesus says to Peter, “You will not only desert me; you will disown me not once, not twice, but three times before sunrise in just a few hours.” You see, it’s already late in the evening. The Passover meal starts at sundown and lasts a few hours, and this all happens after the Passover meal. So it’s probably about 10 or 11 at night (maybe later). In other words, Jesus is telling Peter, “In less than 8 hours, you will disown me three times.”
Mark 14:31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same. (ESV)
They ALL said, “I’ve got this!” But Peter says it with vehemence. How ironic that just a few hours later in verse 71, Peter uses the same vehemence to swear that he never knew Jesus. You see, pride goes before a fall every time. So when you face a crisis…