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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Will I Deny and/or Betray My Lord?

Matthew 26:35 (ESV) 
35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

Mark 14:18-19 (ESV)
18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?”

The disciples were sure they wouldn't deny Jesus but they weren't so sure they wouldn't betray Him. Doesn't that seem strange? Denial seems less severe than betrayal. Yet, they all denied Him but only one betrayed Him. They all ran away at His arrest with the exception of Judas- the one who betrayed him.  (John followed  and was the closest to Jesus through His trial and crucifixion but did not stand up for Him when he was needed.)

Betrayal is a grave disloyalty to Jesus. Denial is refusing to identify with Jesus. These definitions come from the actions of the one who betrayed and those who denied Jesus.

Were they so bold when death seemed so far away and so timid when it was close by? Could it be that our actions are more honest when the time is at hand?

So many have told me, "Pastor, don't worry I'll take care of this situation," when a crisis seems far off. They, somehow, are needed at work, are out of town or are severely sick when someone needs to stand up. They never have your back. They are bold when the crisis is far away and absent when it is needed.

Yet, the disciples seem to have come to some humility in this. They knew they were capable of doing the worst of sins. They knew they could be the one who betrayed Jesus and each only hoped that he would not actually be the one who did it.

In the end all but John were martyred for Jesus. (John escaped death by his own physical fortitude. He certainly suffered enough to die.) In the end they didn't deny Him. Ultimately, they all identified with Jesus and took Jesus to the world.

I suppose we don't know what we will actually do when something is far away. We are ready to take on the gates of hell with a water pistol until we are confronted by the devil. Then, we run from the one who is already defeated.

What will I do when the time is at hand? I don't actually know until the time is at hand. I would hope that I will never deny or betray Jesus. Saying that I won't when I am trying to protect my own hide seems pointless. It certainly didn't help the Disciples.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scripture said that our faith will be tested so that it proves to be genuine. 1 Pet 1:7 AMP - So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

Also, we know that James 2:26 tells us that faith without deed is dead.

I believe God does employ "the proof of the pudding is in the eating"; our faith will be tested. As to whether or not, one will be persecuted to the extent of him being asked if he would deny or betray The Lord, it is up to The Lord if he would allow it. But we can be sure that God does not just take our lip service - "we just saying it". Perhaps, many of us will fail such denial or betrayal testing for sure, without facing the test! God knows, and He, therefore, allowed not, most of such trials. There again, He allowing or not allowing, is also solely His sovereign provocative. God probably looks at the small things or tests that you and I fail so very often, that He does not need to see if the big ones (denial or betrayal) we will pass or not! Am I not right that so many of us, give Him not priority, such as our priority time and resource; we only give Him our spare time and loose change?! Many of us do not serve Him or serve Him with self interest, like Judas Iscariot! When it involves a little inconvenience, a little setback, a little suffering or a little sacrifice, we avoid or back off, need The Lord tests for more?! If simple arithmetic I fail, can I pass the algebra?

I thank God for His mercy and grace, and His allowing NOT, the enemy's wanting to test me in such "big ones". However, may I not forget, with or without the algebra, my failing the simple arithmetic is already bad!

Anthony Chia, high.expressions