The Big Fail

“Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples.  That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus.  Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in.  The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?”

“No,” he said, “I am not.”  John 18:15-17

The “other disciple” is said to be John, the one writing this gospel.  John took advantage of his acquaintance with the high priest to use it as a ticket and follow Jesus into the cold courtyard where others huddled by a fire.

God gives us connections and divine appointments.  It’s our job to step through the door and acknowledge Christ.

Whether we’re by the fire or in the fire, God is with us.  Satan cooks up trials to burn us, but God allows trials to fit us for the King and His Kingdom work (loving others).

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat.  But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail.  So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”

But Jesus said.  “Peter, let me tell you something.  Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”  Luke 22:31-34

Before his test, Peter thought he was as unsinkable as the Titanic.

“Don’t think you are better than you really are.” Romans 12:3

“If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.  The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  1 Corinthians 10:12-13

God loved Peter too much to let him sink in self-confidence and presumption. God wanted him to be a rock on which he built his church.  Peter’s trial was designed to teach him to humbly, fully lean on Christ, the foundation.

If Peter had known what it meant to “fear the Lord,” he would have been slower to boast, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”

God also used John to build his Kingdom, but we don’t see John making such boasts.  Perhaps that’s why this was Peter’s test, not John’s.

“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:21

Whether we’re crass like Peter or more on the careful side like John, God gives us the power to do the right thing.  And the Lord prays for our formation as we build his kingdom.

“Therefore he (Jesus) is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him.  He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”  Hebrews 7:25

We fall down, but we can get up.  If we repent and return to God, we lose only our pride and excuses.  As we abide in Christ and His power abides in us, he makes us like Peter who later strengthened those around him.  In this we become living testimonies of how God never wastes our tests and trials ~ even when we fail.

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