At the Last Supper, Jesus sat with His disciples sharing the last meal He would have until His crucifixion and ultimate death. What do you say to the people you have walked with for three years, sharing both triumph and terrifying situations? You know you have poured into them as much as you could, but you are also aware that your students are not ready for what is to come. What do you say? Jesus chose these words;
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. Matthew 26:31-35 (NLT)
Notice that Jesus did not single out Peter, as He said, ‘tonight all of you will desert me". Yet Peter was the one who responded – declaring not only his loyalty as a member of the group, but even if all the others forsake Jesus, Peter vowed He would be with Him.
Jesus knew that Peter meant well. He knew that in his heart Peter really believed that. Yet, He also knew that He had to tell Peter the truth, which was that He was not only going to deny Him once, but three times before the next day! Of course Peter denied this. Yet we find that it happened just as Jesus said.
Many of us over the years have made resolutions for the New Year – more recently we establish goals. Before the month is over, most of us have either failed in our plans or just plain ignored it. That is not because we didn’t mean well. What it means is that we have a right heart, wanting to do good; but like Peter, a wrong understanding of who we really are. We need more than a paper and pen to bring about the changes in our life. We need, like Peter, the transforming work of Jesus, who after the visitation of the Holy Spirit, took Peter out of his fears into a place of calling the whole city to hear about Jesus the Christ!
What would happen if we spent thirty days in prayer this January – asking God to mold us and make us after HIs will – and then trust God to carry us through the other eleven months with not only a right heart, but a right understanding too!