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Summary: God profiles ordinary people, some with huge character flaws, in order to show that He can use the weakest of us to accomplish His purposes and gain glory for Himself.

Peter Mark 14:66-72?

God profiles ordinary people, some with huge character flaws, in order to show that He can use the weakest of us to accomplish His purposes and gain glory for Himself.

1. Like Peter, we make incredibly poor choices. ?

2. Like Peter, our poor choices don’t have to be the final chapter of our lives.

? Restoration begins with genuine brokenness and repentance.

?

If you’ve been to Israel, or you go with me in May 2019, you’ll go to what most historians believe was the house of Caiaphas, the High Priest. It was to Caiaphas’ house that Jesus was taken after his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. While there, he was mocked and beaten and interrogated by Caiaphas and the other Jewish leaders. On the top of the house is a weather vane with a curious figure on top (PIC). Can you make it out in the picture? That’s right, a rooster. Why a rooster? Turn to Mark 14:66-72 and we’ll find out.

We begin a new series today called “Failing Forward.” We’re going to study six individuals who at one point were scoundrels: a liar, a cheat, a murderer, a brawler, a skeptic, and a prostitute. ? This is one of the most fantastic attributes of the Bible: it does not gloss over the huge character flaws of the people on its pages. I’m thinking if I was God—I would only include great people with great faith who had no glaring weaknesses to be in my Bible. But no Yahweh. From the get go, God profiles ordinary people, some with huge character flaws, in order to show that He can use the weakest of us to accomplish His purposes and gain glory for Himself.

This is one of the great proofs of the veracity of Scripture: there is no whitewashing of the characters; no glossing over their flaws. It all reinforces the depravity of humanity and the grace and glory of God to work in and through our junk for our good and His glory.

And the very 1st scoundrel we’re going to study is Simon Peter. He’s one of my favorite characters in the Bible because I identify with Peter in so many ways. Peter was wildly enthusiastic; I can be that way. He was impulsive; I’m impulsive. He was brash; I can be brash. He was impatient; I’m known to be impatient occasionally. He said and did stupid stuff—I say and do stupid stuff.

We know quite a bit about this character. He was from Bethsaida and lived in Capernaum. Both of these were fishing villages on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.

He was partners in a fishing business with the sons of thunder: James and John. His brother Andrew had heard Jesus teach and told Peter all about him. When Jesus met Peter the first time, He gave him the name Cephas, which means small rock. Some time later Jesus was walking by Peter who was cleaning his nets and invited him to follow and become a fisher of men. Immediately, impulsively, Peter left the nets and followed Jesus for the entire 3 years of His public ministry. ? Apparently Peter became the spokesperson for the ragtag group of disciples. He was a part of an inner circle that Jesus shared some of His most intimate thoughts with; James and John, sons of thunder, being the other two. It was while these 3 were on the Mt. Of Transfiguration that Peter was the first to respond to Jesus’ question: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter said, “You are the Messiah; the Son of the Living God.”? It was Peter in all his impetuosity that jumped out of the boat and began walking to Jesus on the water. It was Peter who actually, get this, actually rebuked Jesus for talking about His impending death during Passover. It was Peter who took his Bowie knife and chopped off the ear of the High Priests servant. And it was Peter who boasted that He would never forsake the Lord; never abandon Him, even if everyone else did.

And that leads us to our text for the morning. We find Peter in the courtyard of Caiaphas’ house. After Jesus’ arrest, Peter followed the some 200 soldiers and their prisoner at a distance across town to the house of the High Priest. So let’s read the Scripture. Mark 14:66-72 (on screen)

v.67. ‘looked at him’; the Greek word there means “To gaze intently.” Get this: this lowly little servant girl was staring down Peter! You ever play ‘stare down’? Two people just star at each other to see who blinks first? My gdaughter Berkley (PIC) can stare down anyone: “Berkley, give me a kiss…”. Just stares a hole in the back of my head…amazing. This servant girl was staring at Peter and I’m sure it made him very, very uncomfortable.? She identifies Peter as one of Jesus’ disciples. Not sure how. Could be that she recognized his northern accent or his odd clothes; or maybe she had been in the crowds as Jesus taught and noticed Peter as one of Jesus’ disciples. All we know is she stared him down and called him out.

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