Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too. (Matthew 26:35 NASB)
|Peter’s denial of Christ|
Peter made a bold statement, but he did not understand his own heart. He was sincere in his belief that he could never deny his Lord, yet he relied too much on his self-sufficiency.
The prophet Jeremiah told us “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) The greatest of all deceptions come through an improper view of who we are. We often have a skewed view of reality about ourselves in comparison to God. Peter had commitment, passion, and yes, even love for Christ, but he lacked the understanding that his ability to fully follow Christ rested in God and not himself. Peter was not able to grasp that when he thought he was strong, he was actually weak. Jesus had told him that by the time the cock crowed Peter would deny him three times. Peter rejected this because he was full of self-confidence and self-reliance. Anything we do for God that starts with self is doomed to failure.
God uses the strength of personality, but only after it has been harnessed. This process generally involves some form of brokenness. After the cock crowed, Peter was a broken man (Matthew 26:69-72 NASB). A wild stallion is never useful to its owner until it has been broken and trained to obey its master. Peter had to learn that his sufficiency did not lie in his will or strength of character, but in God’s grace.
Peter saw how weak he was without Christ which eventually made him strong with God. He learned the futility of self-sufficiency.
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing