158. Peter’s fall foretold- Matt. 26:31-35, Mark 14:27-31, Luke 22:31-34, John 13:33, 36-38
-After the disciples had sung a hymn, they were at the Mount of Olives when Jesus told them that the Shepherd would be struck down and the sheep would scatter. Peter, speaking for the entire group piped up and said that he would go to the death with Christ promising to never leave Him or forsake Him. However, Jesus, knowing the heart of man once again, predicted that in that very night before the rooster crowed (Mark says twice, Matthew gives three times) he would deny Him three times. This in fact happens as Jesus is taken into custody, and Peter realizes the truth of the Lord’s claims to the point of immense grief (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-62). However, just as Jesus also predicted, Peter is restored and his faith turns again to the Christ (Luke 22:32). His faith ultimately does not fail and he becomes a tremendous leader in the church as the gospel goes out to the world. *Application* The Lord deals in reality and truth. Optimism without reality and truth produces no hope. The reality in Peter’s life was that there were deficiencies, which he was not even aware of. Jesus pointed out his condition and brought His beloved disciple to the point of brokenness and the realization that he wasn’t as faithful as he thought. Allow the Lord to shape your life in the same way. Ask Him to expose the weaknesses and reveal all to you for the purpose of repentance and restoration in Him. You will arise a spiritual giant once the Lord has refined you for His purposes. This is a difficult process, but absolutely rewarding. It is the death to self and the resurrection in His power that we need.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 26:34
159. The true vine- assurance for the disciples- John 15:1-27; 16:1-33
-Christ Jesus’ discourse with His disciples brings assurance for them in the midst of this time of coming tribulation and scattering. The promise of the Holy Spirit is given as an advantage of His physical incarnation due to the wide ranging possibilities through this manifestation of His goodness. *Application* The key theme for us to ponder here is that we are not alone. God is always with us and gives us His continuing presence to obey His commands and walk in His love without compromise no matter what the situation.
-The Lord gives beautiful figurative language in comparing us to branches in the vine. He is the vine and we are extensions of His grace and mercy to the world bearing much fruit. This is where our joy is. It is in Him. The Vinedresser is key for us to understand as well. The Father prunes us as believers to purify and complete us in Christ. There are those who spring up alongside the vine that appear to be branches, but are unproductive and need to be cut off for the health of the plant. These reference the unbelievers that the Vinedresser gets rid of that were never really part of the plant. *Application* Jesus reminds His disciples, and in a greater sense us, that we are His children in all of His love and care. He answers our requests as done, and He gives us joy to the full. He calls us friends rather than servants at this point because we know Him and are called according to His purposes. This will bring on the hatred of the world, which we should expect. Jesus said this hatred is without cause, just like He experienced, which was prophesied in the written Word (Psalm 35:19; 69:4). However, throughout the passage there is hope, peace, and reassurance that all will be well in the resurrection, which overcomes this world that has in it intense tribulation (John 16:33). Jesus becomes more and more plain to the disciples and us as He makes His will and plan known as the only begotten Son of God. Victory is in Jesus!
Verses to Memorize- John 15:5, 11, 13; 16:7, 33