Summary: Note the depth of honesty in the Gospels. There is no cover-up here: Peter blew it! But Before we condemn Peter, given the circumstances, would we have shown up in Caiaphas’ courtyard that evening?
“The Rock Crumbles”
Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75
Did you know that Las Vegas has opened a call-in phone service called “Connection Confession?” It is a service where people can call and confess their sins to a recording – a confession hot-line. Here is how it works – for a fee of $9 per (3) minutes, you can record your sins so that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” And for a few extra bucks, you can listen to the sins of others so that you don’t feel so bad about yourself. Amazingly, the service is being bombarded by calls as one of the originators said, "It’s a technological way to get something off your chest w/out the embarrassment that comes from confessing one on one.”
Confession without accountability: what could be better than the ability to sin with a man-made way to ease our guilt? But it won’t work. It might numb and suppress, but it won’t eliminate the guilt. We can’t live any way we want without there being consequences.
Illustration: Four preachers were meeting together talking about different issues when one of them suggested they discuss forgiveness. He said, “Our people come to us to pour out their hearts, confess their sins and share their needs. I think we could benefit too if we would do the same. After all, confession is good for the soul.” They all agreed and one by one they confessed. The 1st pastor confessed that he liked to go to rated – R movies and would sneak away from church to go. The 2nd guy confessed to liking to smoke cigars while the 3rd pastor confessed to enjoying cards and dancing. When it came to the 4th guy, he wouldn’t confess. As the others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” he tried to avoid answering. Finally he said, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”
Let’s note the depth of honesty in the Gospels. There is no cover-up here! Peter, who later became a predominate leader of the church, blew it! But before we quickly condemn Peter for his actions, let’s ask ourselves a question: given the circumstances, would we have shown up in Caiaphas’ courtyard that evening?
Proposition: Consider the amazing trust of Jesus: in spite of our inadequacies, His love and confidence in us continues!
1. The Savior’s strength, verses 31-35: Here the character of Jesus is very clearly shown.
A. We see the realism of Jesus
i. This was predicted in Zechariah 13:7. Jesus looked reality square in the face and marched on.
ii.There’s a difference between worrying about what might be and dealing with the issue at hand.
Illustration: Every tornado season a lot of people cry out, “What if?” But when the storm comes, there is no room for “What If’s.” The only thing we may have time to say is “Take cover!”
B. We see the confidence of Jesus
i. Jesus always saw beyond the cross. He was just as certain of His glory as He was His suffering!
C. We see the sympathy of Jesus
i. He knew these men would abandon Him during His deepest need, yet He does not condemn them. Jesus is sympathetic with our weaknesses.
D. We also see the over-confidence of the disciples
i. All eleven loved Jesus and all swore allegiance to Him. They thought they were stronger than Jesus knew them to be.
ii. We will only be in a secure relationship when we replace boastful confidence in ourselves with humble dependence upon our Lord!
Illustration: You’ve heard of Jesus’ Beatitudes. Have you heard of Satan’s beatitudes? They go like this:
Blessed are they who are too tired and busy to go to church on Sunday, for they are my best workers.
Blessed are they who are bored with the minister’s mannerisms and mistakes, for they get nothing out of the sermon.
Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church for he is part of the problem instead of the solution.
Blessed are they who gossip for they cause strife and divisions that please me.
Blessed are they who are easily offended, for they soon get angry and quit.
Blessed are they who do not give their offerings to carry on God’s work, for they are my best helpers.
Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister, for he shall be with me forever.
Blessed are the troublemakers, for they shall be called the children of the devil.
Blessed who have no time to pray for he will be easy prey.
iii. Every 4th of July the United States celebrates the creation of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. To prevent us from becoming over-confident, Christians must celebrate our Declaration of Dependence with God every day of our lives. “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).