Bible Reference: Luke 22:26-60
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)
Bible Text: 56 A girl noticed Peter sitting in the firelight. Staring at him, she pointed him out and said, “This man is one of Jesus’ disciples!”
57 Peter flatly denied it, saying, “What are you talking about, girl? I don’t know him!”
58 A little while later, someone else spotted Peter and said, “I recognize you. You’re one of his, I know it!”
Peter again said, “I’m not one of his disciples.”
59 About an hour later, someone else identified Peter and insisted he was a disciple of Jesus, saying, “Look at him! He’s from Galilee, just like Jesus. I know he’s one of them.”
60 But Peter was adamant. “Listen, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t you understand? I don’t even know him.” While the words were still in his mouth, the rooster crowed.
OBSERVATION: We are identified and referred to by the people and places that we hang around, and often by the clothes we wear. Imagine a doctor walking around your favorite store in a pair of shorts. Would you ever recognize him? Imagine a charismatic pastor sitting in a waiting room at the hospital in casual clothes calmly and softly chatting with a young lady, would you recognize him? Also, what if you traveled to a country that is unfriendly to the gospel, and the authorities identified you as ‘one of those Christians’. Would you quickly step forward and rejoice that God has answered your prayers? Join me as we meditate on the dilemma of Peter.
APPLICATION: With every good intention, many of us pray that others may see the character and love of Jesus in us, hoping that others might be drawn to Christ because of our testimony. Inside our churches we sing His praises, love on other like believers, and we may even shout ‘Amen’ in agreement to all that the Pastor has to say. All things that the Savior might be proud of, right? But what are we like in our business places? In our business decisions? In our after work parties? Or in our political affiliations? Will the servant girl identify us as ‘one of His’? We might very easily become entrapped in similar challenges with other associations in life. Like Peter, some may be afraid of the consequences that might ensue because of family affiliations, or political affiliations, or others. Friends, I believe that our challenge in this Scripture today is ‘What will we do with Jesus?’. Is He just a good relationship to keep mom, spouse, children and the pastor, happy and off our back? Is He good to know when things are really rough on us – medical challenges; dying relative; a child in trouble with the law; etc. or have you truly accepted Him as your Lord and personal Savior? I pray that you’ve developed such a relationship with Him that you are comforted by His love; His guidance; His wisdom; and His promise of eternity with He and the Father in heaven? Let me suggest that if you feel all of the latter, and you know that your eternity is secure in Him, then may I challenge you today to think about what your answers would be to the questions asked of Peter? For I believe that you will be challenged along the same lines as Peter was, while living this life here on earth. Decide this day whom you will follow, and to whom you will cling to, when challenged by the ungodly and those who are out to get you.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on through every step of this Christian life. Whether in the good times of rejoicing with fellow Christians, or in situations where we are faced with the daggers of the enemy, please give us the boldness to never back down from our association and relationship with You. After all, You bore the embarrassment and the sting of punishment for us while carrying out the plan of Your Father, so that the mean and the wicked of this world might have the means of salvation – union with God the Father. Thank You for Your sacrifice, and thank You for the love shown for us. Please embolden us with Your power and Your strength to never back down from our ties with You. Oh that You would rule and reign in us, until the day You call us home to glory! AMEN!