Summary: The true test of character is not found in your actions but your reactions.
Your reaction is showing.
John 18:1 -- 11.
Turn to John chapter 18 then look up here I want to tell you something. The true test of your character is not found in your actions but in your reactions.
Have you ever gone to the doctor for a check up and the doctor gets out that little rubber hammer. He is wanting to find out something about you. The rubber hammer is used to tap you below the knee cap and check your reaction. Now he could have said, will you raise your leg. Your brain would say, okay, here is the plan, raise your leg. But the doctor isn’t interested in what you plan to do but your unplanned reaction.
Now folks, all of us can control our actions. It’s our reaction that really counts and shows what we really are. The difference in action and reaction is the difference in reputation and character. Reputation is what others think of you. Character is what your wife, children and God know about you.
I want us to think about reactions this morning. We will notice how Jesus reacted in certain situations. We will see how Jesus reacted to the failure of a friend. When a friend let him down and disappointed him. Then I want you to see how Jesus reacted to the wounds of his enemies. Finally, I want you to see how Jesus reacted to a hard demand of the father.
Now let me sort of take the bullets out of your gun to start with. Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane means olive press. It was in this Garden that Jesus was on a great deal of pressure. In this Garden came the soldiers to arrest him and eventually nail him to a cross. No one that I know of has had that kind of pressure. So, when your reactions are sinful, you have no right to blame it on stress and pressures of life.
Let’s read vs. 1 through 11. Let me comment on 4 -- 8.
I want us to, first of all, see had Jesus reacted to the wrongs of a friend. His friend was Simon Peter. Peter loved Jesus yet wronged Jesus terribly on this day. Notice some things Peter did wrong. 1. He attacked the wrong person. When the soldiers came in Peter woke up and cut off the ear of a slave named Malchus. Peter was a better fisherman than a swordsman. He meant to cut Malchus head off. But listen, the problem that day wasn’t somebody’s ear. The Bible says we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness in high places. There was a spiritual battle. Now the devil must have rejoiced when Peter attacked a person rather than the enemy, Satan.
The other week when I was in revival meeting out of town the first morning I saw the pastor pacing back and forth on the front porch of the church. He met me as I was walking to the church and said man I am burning up. I am mad. He said three of our deacons or down at a cattle show in Columbia. He said man if I can find a place to go, I am out of here.
But listen, his battle wasn’t with the deacons. The church has and will continue to have carnal Christians. Paul said in the last day man will be lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. He attacked the men but it was a spiritual war. It is my duty, our duty to preach the truth. It is the Holy Spirit’s duty to impart that truth. It is the Christians duty to be open for the Spirit to impart truth. If we aren’t open he don’t and we miss it.
Now how did Peter make such a mess? Two reasons. 1. Peter was arguing when he should have been listening. Jesus had already told Peter that he must go to Jerusalem, be beaten and crucified. Peter said no, no, no my Lord, you have it all wrong. He was arguing with the word of God. Because it didn’t make sense to him. Don’t ever do that with the word of God. When God says it and it doesn’t make sense to you it makes no difference, don’t argue or try to rationalize it to fit your agenda.
2, he was sleeping when he should have been praying. Peter’s lack of prayer caused him to go to some places he would not have gone, said some things he would not have said, and did some things he would not have done.
All right, what was the reaction of Jesus to the wrongs of a friend? First of all Jesus covered Peters sin. In the gospel of Luke chapter 22: 50 -- 51, the Bible says that Jesus picked up the ear of the servant and healed him. Now if Jesus had not done that, there might have been 4 crosses on the hill that day. Here Jesus comes to help Peter out of trouble.