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A Kingdom Perspective

"When push comes to shove, you will not endure nor die for a revelation you no longer have faith in."—Shauntelle

Luke 22:31-34 NIV

³¹ “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. ³² But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” ³³ But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with You to prison and to death.” ³⁴ Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Let's Dive...

Some time after declaring Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16), Simon Peter denied Him three times (Luke 22: 54-62). How was this possible?

Not only was satan after him (Luke 22:31), but Peter also had an open door in his life. You see, history tells us the Jews were under Roman occupation (John 11:48) and were "well strapped" if the opportunity presented itself to harm a Roman soldier. For reference, Peter cut a soldier's ear off (John 18:10-11). He was willing to fight and die for Jesus the Messiah "leader of their rebellion" (Luke 22:33), but not for the Son of Man who came to die for the sins of all mankind, including the Romans'.

Peter assumed that when the Messiah came, He would be the leader of their "rebellion" against Roman rule. It was evident that Peter thought this even till the very moments before Jesus allowed the soldiers to arrest Him (Luke 22:49-51). Afterall, who would be the face of their rebellion if the Messiah was to die? During this "ear cutting scuffle (my words)," Jesus asked: "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs (Luke 22:52)?"

At a time before this aforementioned night in The Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus rebuked satan from Peter because Peter thought of his earthly plans: rebellion against the Romans. However, it was evident that Peter did not consider the plans of the Kingdom of God (Matthew 16:21-23). Peter made the same mistake John the Baptist did (Luke 7:18-23). Both men who received sure revelations from God regarding Who Jesus is questioned Who Jesus really was when things were not going as they had (John The Baptist and Peter) thought. Peter allowed an open door to form in his life through his preconceived notions about what he thought Jesus was supposed to be doing. He "stumbled on account of" Jesus (Luke 7:23). Satan took advantage of this open door in Peter. Both John the Baptist and Peter unfortunately did what Proverbs 3:5 warns us to not do: lean on our own understanding.

When Jesus turned Himself into the law to be crucified, the disciples figured "their cause" was lost. Their Leader was now in the hands of the enemy. Or so it seemed. At no point was Jesus unprotected. How do we know? He told us He had twelve legions of angels (approximately 72,000) that He could call to His defense if He needed them (Matthew 26:53).

A Warning and Hope...

People of God, we must be aware of our own selfish motives, preconceived notions, and personal ambitions as we journey with Jesus. Judas was a prime example of this (John 12:6), but one may say the same about the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 20:20-23). We can always pray as David did: "²³ Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. ²⁴ See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)."

Peter Did Not Simply Deny Jesus...

When Peter's ideas of how things should have been came into conflict with what actually happened, it would seem Peter forgot the revelation that he personally received from God the Father regarding Jesus being the Messiah, Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:16-17). Peter's faith in all he witnessed Jesus do, along with the revelation from heaven regarding Jesus' identity, were challenged when things did not turn out as he might have planned.

It was however, a plan perfected by God before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). This plan of the Kingdom "disarmed the powers and authorities", this plan made an open show and mockery of the enemy at Calvary, it freed us from the curse of sin and death...(Colossians 2:13-15)—all this while we were "yet sinners" (Romans 5:8).

A Prayer...

May God the Father's peace guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). May our Mediator Jesus intervene on our behalf (Hebrews 9:15). May our faith in Him not fail us. When He comes, may He find faith on the earth (Luke 18:8). Amen.

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