Monday, June 04, 2007

following Jesus a a distance

How would you characterize your devotion to Jesus?

How far are you willing to go with Him? Have you put a "limit" on how devoted you would be to Him?

Despite having walked with the Son of God for three and a half years, having witnessed awesome miracles, having heard heart-convicting truths, having seen the great crowds that gathered about his Master, Peter, one of Jesus' three closest disciples, denied Jesus at a crucial moment.

To chalk it up to cowardice is oversimplification.

Yes, he was afraid, but the fear began long before the accusers gathered about him.

In Matthew 26, Peter is seen following Jesus after his capture.

All other disciples (except John) had fled and was nowhere near the vicinity of this chaos. Peter was the one who swung that sword and cut off the High Priest's servant Malchus' ear in an attempt to save Jesus.

It was rather brave of Peter to follow Jesus even after his capture, but the problem was how he followed:

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

Peter followed Jesus.

But at a distance. Or "safe" distance as he probably had thought.

Why did Peter - the man who saw Jesus in his heavenly glory (along with James and John) on the Mount of Transfiguration, the man who had seen Jesus raise Jairus' daughter from the dead, the man whom Jesus entrusted to take with him to prayer at his last hours at Gethsemane - deny the one he confessed was the "Christ, the Son of the Living God"?

Peter followed Jesus at a distance.

He wanted to go with Jesus, but not so far as to risk his own life.

He wanted to be near his Lord and Master but wasn't willing to be identified with Him to the point of forsaking his well being.

Do you follow Jesus at a distance?

Although we may never say we will give God a limited devotion, we live like Peter. Our devotion limited by our fears of losing our lives, our dreams, our hopes, our plans, our future.

Are you like Peter?

When God asks us to give up all, whether it be possessions or pride or future, He does it so that He may take it and purify our intentions, sanctify our hopes and strengthen our resolve and skills so that He can return it to us doublefold and with better end that will glorify Him ultimately.

As you prepare your hearts for the upcoming retreat, think on Peter.

Think about how you would describe your devotion to God.

--from Nakwon EM 6/3 Sunday Worship Service

No comments: