Matthew – God’s Purposes
“Never say never” is a saying that we learn early in life…or should learn…not to say. We learn that as soon as we declare within our humanness that we will never eat cake or chocolate again we begin to crave it all the more and eat a piece. We say we will never be like “that” guy and then we find we are exactly like “that” guy. We say we will never deny Christ, but in a crowd who is against him, do we speak up about our love for Him? Do we go along with the world with denial in another form that says, “Live and let live”. “I have my opinion and you have yours.” And the biggest lie of all, “Truth is what you believe it to be”. NO, Truth is Jesus Christ, whether we choose to believe Him or not.
Like Peter, when face to face with danger, losing position, pride or merely being offended, we do exactly what we said we would never do. We deny Truth. We deny our Savior and Lord’s very existence and our relationship with Him by our words, body language and behaviors.
Matthew 26, NLT
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 On the way, Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say,
‘God will strike the Shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”
33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”
34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.
We usually point to Peter as the one who had failed the Lord, but all of the disciples were involved. Jesus referred to Zechariah 13:7 in warning His disciples, but He also added a word of promise: He would rise again and meet them in Galilee. Unfortunately, the men paid little attention to the promise of His resurrection. On resurrection day, the angels reminded them of the meeting in Galilee (Matt. 28:7, 10).
When Peter disagreed with the Lord, this was the beginning of his sin of denying the Lord. Peter was unwilling to apply the word all to himself. Instead of reassuring Peter, the Lord gave him a personal warning: He would deny Christ three times! Peter thought he was better than the other men, and Jesus told him he would be even more cowardly than the others.
Peter’s response was to deny Christ’s word even more fervently, and the other disciples joined in this protest. Had Peter listened to the word and obeyed it, he would not have denied his Lord three times.
Never say never. We are fallible, but forgiven humans, saved by grace, redeemed by a merciful Savior. Jesus knows us well. Jesus knew Peter well. Peter would be forgiven completely and be given the responsibility as “the rock upon whom Jesus would build His church” (us). Jesus knew Peter would learn from his failure.
Be reconciled to God. Believe Jesus who is Truth and we will be saved…from ourselves, our sin, our selfishness, fears and lack of faith in times of trouble. Jesus is our hope, our rock, strength and Lord. Jesus is Truth.
We find “never and always” are words reserved only for God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. Never and always are only in God’s vocabulary…
“Never will I leave you…” –Jesus
“God never changes…” Hebrews 13:8
God will always love you and care for you.
God will provide where He guides us.
How many more promises of God can you list?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for being Truth in a false world that delivers only false hope. Our trust is in You. Our hope in You. YOU are Life to the full. You are always there. May Your glory be reflected in us today. May people around us see You in us. May our behaviors point people to You, dear Lord. Thank you for your complete forgiveness. Thank you for your compassionate patience with us. Use our messes to be messages of your love, mercy and grace.
In Jesus Name, Amen