Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World

Strong and Courageous, Peter

September 06, 2020 Pastor Dave Tucker Season 4 Episode 14
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Strong and Courageous, Peter
Chapters
Spiritual Living in a Chaotic World
Strong and Courageous, Peter
Sep 06, 2020 Season 4 Episode 14
Pastor Dave Tucker

God chooses to use broken people for God's Kingdom work. It is the broken who truly realize their need for Jesus.
Based on Luke 22: 54-62.

Originally presented September 6, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX.


Show Notes Transcript

God chooses to use broken people for God's Kingdom work. It is the broken who truly realize their need for Jesus.
Based on Luke 22: 54-62.

Originally presented September 6, 2020 at St. Timothy Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Bedford, TX.


STRONG AND COURAGEOUS, PETER

Luke 22: 54-62

It was the worst night of Peter’s life! And as a salty fisherman, that has survived storms and pirates and thieves, that is saying a lot! Everything that Peter held on to for security, was crumbling around him. Ever since he met Jesus, things were different. Peter was happy, for once in his life Peter had hope. Jesus was the promised Messiah… the one who would save God’s people from the oppression of the Romans. And yet, he was just carried away like a common criminal. He wondered why Jesus didn’t defend himself. Why didn’t Jesus escape… he escaped before… but this time was different! Upon seeing soldiers approach Jesus and seeing Jesus allow them to tie him up, Peter drew his sword and cut the ear off one of the soldiers… whacked it right off! “There, that’ll teach ‘em!” Peter thought to himself. Perhaps I created enough of a diversion to allow for Jesus to get away. But wait, what is Jesus saying? “Peter, put away your sword. For those who live by the sword will die by the sword.” “What does THAT mean?!” Peter thought to himself. Then… and you can read this for yourself, Jesus, no kidding, unties himself and reattaches the soldier’s ear. It’s all there in the gospel story! Unfortunately, this healing had no bearing on the task at hand and the soldiers bind Jesus again and carry him away. This was simply NOT supposed to happen. Peter looked around the garden where the arrest took place. It was quiet… too quiet. Even his friends, the other disciples had run away from fear. 

Peter remembered the time he first met Jesus. How could he forget. It was certainly something worthy of the history books. Peter and his buddies had fished all night, nothing! Jesus was already a popular public speaker and was being pressed on all sides. Jesus approached Peter’s two boats that had just come back from an unsuccessful fishing expedition and asked Peter if He could stand in one of the boats so that he can continue preaching without being mobbed. Peter obliged and started the task of working on his nets along the shoreline with the other fishermen. When Jesus finished preaching he looked at these salty and disappointed fishermen.

“Djya Catch anything?” Jesus asked Peter. “Not a single fish,” Peter replied. Then Jesus said something that seemed a bit strange to these experienced fishermen, “Go back out to the deep part of the lake and drop your nets for a catch.” Peter responded, “Yeabut” Yeabut… how often do we use that phrase with God? I wonder how many of us have missed opportunities to see God work miracles in our lives by a simple yeabut? Peter said, “Yeahbut, I’m not quite sure you heard what I said, teacher. We have been fishing all night and caught nothing!” Then, with a sigh, Peter continued, “But whatever you say, we will do.” So, these fishermen, took their boats back out, dropped the net back into the water, and suddenly the nets were so full of fish that their nets began to break and the boats started to sink! THAT’S A LOT OF FISH! Peter remembers being terrified! “Get away from me Jesus, for I am a sinful man.” Jesus’ replied to Peter and the other fishermen, “Come and follow me, from now on you will fish for people.” Peter remembered, He didn’t have to think twice. He jumped out of the boat and immediately followed Jesus.  

That was only a couple years ago for Peter, it seemed longer with all the adventures Peter had been on with Jesus. Of the twelve apostles, he was part of the inner circle with Jesus. He, along with James and John got to do more and see more than any other disciple. He wasn’t quite sure why that was the case, but he was grateful for the honor.

Then there was the time, where Jesus had sent Peter and the other disciples on ahead of him on a boat to the next town where Jesus was to preach. The wind was strong that night and the disciples were wrestling with the sails to keep the boat going where they needed to be. Suddenly, one of the disciples looked out at the water and said, with fear in his voice… What is that!? As the other disciples looked where he was pointing, they saw a figure coming toward them in the water. “It’s a ghost!” another disciple exclaimed and just like that, not only were they fighting the wind but they were trying to navigate AWAY from this ghost that was following them. Then the figure yelled out in the wind, “Do not be afraid, it’s me, Jesus!” Peter smiled as he recalled his response, “Prove it!” “If you are Jesus and not a ghost let me walk on the water toward you.” Jesus said, “C’mon!” so Peter stepped out of the boat and walked right up to Jesus. Before he got to Jesus, however, he started to sink! He cried out! “Jesus, save me! I’m going to drown!” Jesus reached out his hand and pulled Peter out of the water. “Why did you lose faith, Peter?” Jesus asked, Peter didn’t have an answer.

One day, Jesus and the disciples were alone, perhaps by a fire somewhere. Peter remembered clearly Jesus asking his friends, Who do people say I am? Jesus’ disciples responded, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Jesus responded, yeah, but who do YOU say I am? Peter remembered his response, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus smiled and responded to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.” Then Jesus continued “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Peter often wondered what Jesus meant by these words, and he kept these words of Jesus tucked away in his heart.

Peter was jolted away from his thoughts in the garden by someone yelling at him! “Hey man, have you heard? They took Jesus in, He is being tried in the temple courts for blaspheme! “BLASPHEME!” Peter thought… “why blaspheme? Of all the charges they could come up with, blaspheme is what they got Jesus on? This I’ve got to see” all ready this was the worst night of Peter’s life, little did he know that it was about to get a lot worse. Peter disguised himself and entered into the courtyard of the temple court. Three times people recognized him and asked him, “Hey, aren’t you one of Jesus’ disciples? Three times Peter denied that he knew Jesus. I mean who can blame him, right? Jesus was being tried for a crime that might just get him killed and Peter was terrified. He did not want to meet the same fate. After Peter denied Jesus for the third time, he heard a rooster crow. Peter couldn’t believe what just happened! Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny Him… an accusation that Peter vehemently disagreed with. Now here he was, standing in the court yard of the temple where Jesus was being tried for blaspheme, and Peter had just done what Jesus predicted he would do… Deny him three times! Peter ran from the courtyard in tears. He had failed his best friend, the Messiah, the Son of God. 

As you know, Jesus was crucified by Rome on a Roman cross… also as you know on the third day, Jesus was resurrected from the dead… and Peter still held all this guilt for denying Jesus. How could Jesus ever forgive him for such a thing. Why wasn’t he strong, why did he run? Why did he deny knowing Jesus. 

One day, before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He and his disciples were eating a breakfast of freshly grilled fish prepared by Jesus on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias. After breakfast, Jesus looked at Peter, “Peter, do you love me?” Peter filled with grief replied, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” “Feed my lambs.” Jesus asked again, Peter, do you LOVE me?” Peter’s response, “Jesus, yes you KNOW that I love you.” “Tend my sheep.” The third time Jesus asked, Peter, do you love me? Peter, was so full of grief that he couldn’t even look into the eyes of Jesus. He felt hurt that he had to answer this question three times. Jesus asked again, “Do you Peter? Do you love me?” Peter responded with tears in his eyes, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 

This may seem like a strange interaction between Peter and Jesus. However, in my theological workshop, it would appear to me that Jesus was telling Peter, “So you messed up… so what? What I want to know is are you willing to get back to work?” You see Jesus uses us in spite of our weakness and failure. God is not calling the strong and the eloquent and the perfect humans to do God’s kingdom work. God is calling the weak and the broken and those who understand their need for Jesus! God is calling you… God is calling me… Jesus’ question to us this morning is the same question He asked Peter, “Do you love me? Tend my sheep.”

         Journal prompts:

·      Every day, list five gratitudes.

·      Have you ever messed up with God so bad that you feel like God could never love you, let alone use you for God's kingdom work?

·      Have you ever been surprised by a tangible sign of God's love?

·      How can you live into the Grace of Jesus? What does that look like to you?