Summary: Without the Spirit of God, there can be no spiritual power, no revival and no victory.
Theme: THE REPENTANCE OF PETER
Text: Luke 22: 54-62
A. I know that you are very familiar with Peter. We know his background well. He was once a fisherman turned-a-disciple of Jesus. Being the most outspoken among the group, he was considered the spokesperson and leader of the twelve disciples. After the Pentecost, God used Peter in such a powerful way that he brought thousands of people to the Lord. What a successful evangelist was Peter! How we wish to be like him. How we wish to see people flocking to the Savior’s feet. How we wish to win the whole world for Christ!
B. But have you once considered the repentance of Peter after he denied Jesus three times? “What a great failure Peter did that time,” we would say. But, what do you see on it? How does it relate to us –to our lives, to our ministry?
T.S. Let’s closely look at the story.
1) The circumstances of his failure.
a) Peter was a very strong man. At the Upper Room he made a commitment to go with his Master even to prison or to death. And we can see how die-hard he was. When Jesus was arrested at Gethsemane, all the disciples fled except him. He drawn his sword and cut the ear of a temple servant. Peter was really a potential defender and protector of Christ. But the Sovereign Lord doesn’t need a protector. Peter did not understand that!
b) In this incident I want to appreciate this man. He showed great courage and bravery. A person of his kind is very rare today especially in the Christian circles. We are so timid, reluctant, fearful, easily become despondent, and most likely to compromise.
c) After the incident in Gethsemane, Christ was brought to the house of the high priest. Peter followed Him at a distance.
d) He was at the courtyard warming himself. There, in the coldness of the night, Peter met his great downfall. Someone was looking at him. Full of fury and condemnation, “You are one with them!” “You too were with Jesus of Nazareth!” It was Satan hurling darts of condemnation at him in a woman’s guise. Everyone’s eyes then were fixed at him. Peter was cornered. Fear gripped his whole being; his mind tried to grapple any option. Nothing. He denied his Lord!
e) Why such an inflection of emotion and commitment for a very short time? Early the same night, he expressed his bold commitment. Just a short period of time –eight or nine hours –the atmosphere of Peter’s commitment was changed. From bravery to cowardice. Why?
f) Well, we understand that Peter’s circumstances leading him to deny the Lord:
1. Were very unexpected.
Ø It would be so unbelievable that everyone has turned their back against Christ and His disciples. Peter would not have thought of it. He even tried to find refuge in a group of people warming themselves around a campfire. But they were not friends anymore, and no longer friendly to the band of Jesus. Peter was astonished, and was caught by surprise.
Ø But, the fact that Peter was one of the closest disciples of Jesus, it would be improbable, if not unthinkable, for him to be surprised of this world’s mistreatment to Jesus and to them as His disciples. Christ had already predicted it to happen. He heard it right from the mouth of the Lord. Jesus said to them once: “The world will hate you as the Son of Man was hated by it.”
Ø “There shall come tribulations; you shall be persecuted,” Jesus promised. A promise that we don’t want to claim!
Ø As Christians and followers of Jesus, we should not be surprised when hardships in any form come our way as we serve the Lord. They are promised to come as we follow Jesus.
Ø Later in his life, Peter learned that and wrote to all of us saying in chapter 4, verse 12 of his epistle, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes for the testing of your faith.”
2. Were so untimely.
Ø Peter was emotionally tensed and perplexed. He’s not ready yet for another “big fight”. But, you know, he himself had created his own perplexity. Christ had already told them about his suffering and death, yet he refused to agree and believe the words of Jesus. And there was time that he even rebuked Jesus about it. Had Peter believed the words of the Lord, he would have been ready to face any untoward circumstances consequential to the arrest of Jesus.
Ø Much of our confusions are our own making springing from our obstinacy to follow our own way. If only we were in constant agreement with God. I mean, that we agree with what He says, living in complete obedience to His words, there would be no perplexity but peace. We would be ready for any “big fight” in the spiritual arena of our life.