I WILL NOT DENY YOU

Mark 14:27-31

BRIEF RECAP:

What a fantastic dinner. From the disciple’s perspective, they would enjoy the Passover meal with Jesus and spend some much-needed and vastly overdue time alone with their teacher, messiah, and Lord. Some of which they did not understand fully. The sights and smells in the upper room that day were familiar to these men. The bread they would soon be eating and the cups of wine they would shortly be drinking were well-known objects of this feast. But to their surprise, Jesus establishes the truth of the New Covenant while eating a very familiar Passover celebration!

I am not sure what their faces may have looked like as Jesus said those words, “take it, this is my body” and “this is my blood of the covenant,” as they partook of those elements, but I can imagine a slight bit of pause and some weird looks to one another! 

At the end of the meal, they sing one of several hymns that were sung during the celebration. They then leave the upper room and walk to the Mount of Olives. This mountain stood between Bethany and Jerusalem. This is where our current study begins.

27 “And Jesus *said to them, “You will all [a]fall away, because it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

FOCUS ONE: Jesus said to them

Jesus and the eleven disciples had just left the upper room where they had celebrated the Passover. Judas parted their company to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14). 

Take notice of how different the tone of the conversation is now that they have left the upper room, and Jesus is much closer to the garden of Gethsemane, where He will be betrayed by Judas Iscariot and handed over to evil men. In those words, “I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered” (v. 27); Jesus predicts their fear and falling away when He is handed over (v. 27).

Jesus quoted from the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 13:7):

“Awake, sword, against My Shepherd,

And against the Man, My Associate,”

Declares the Lord of armies.

“Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered;

And I will turn My hand [a]against the little ones.”

Zechariah is speaking of a future event. Preface to this section, the prophet was focused on the false prophets that were “*wounded in friends houses,” but now is speaking of the “true prophet wounded in the house of His friends, Israel.” MacArthur writes: “He compressed events of both the first (13:7) and second (13:8,9) Advents into this brief section. It spoke of Christ’s crucifixion (v.7) and the Jewish remnant at His second coming (vv. 8,9).” That is why Jesus refers to it with the disciples. 

These men will not only witness fulfilled prophecy but are the “scattered sheep” of the prophecy!

It is never wise to leave a person with only bad news. People need hope; they need encouragement to carry on. That is what Jesus gave them when He told them that He would rise again and go ahead to Galilee (v. 28)!

Take notice of the tense used when He speaks of being raised again. Not hopefully, or possibly, but after I have been raised! Christ speaks of His resurrection as an absolute fact! This is attested to elsewhere in the Bible. (Matthew 28:16; 17; Genesis 3:15, for example). We do not simply witness fulfilled prophecy in these verses, but in it being fulfilled, we glory at the Omniscience, omnipotence, and sovereignty of our God over all things!

29 “But Peter said to Him, “Even if they all [a]fall away, yet I will not!” 30 And Jesus *said to him, “Truly I say to you, that [b]this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” 31 But [c]Peter repeatedly said insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all were saying the same thing as well.”

FOCUS TWO: Peter says to Him

Can you remember a time, maybe recently, when you affirmed your behavior or attitude would be a certain way regardless of the outcome of some future event, conversation, or meeting? Did it pan out that way when the time came? 

This is the case with Peter. Directly after the Lord tells them that all of them will flee, He makes a bold statement signifying the opposite. “Everyone else might, but not me.” Peter’s sincere but prideful statement is based on his false evaluation of himself. He views himself as more spiritually mature than he is, more steadfast in his devotion to Christ than the others. One other way we can define this moment would be “presumption.” Peter is overconfident in his future behavior even though his past behavior doesn’t back him up!

So, Peter Denied the Lord’s claim (does he know himself better than the Lord does)? If we’re honest, we’ll admit that we are just like Peter. We struggle with the same problem. Presuming things regarding ourselves, others, or the Lord, usually doesn’t end well. Scripture proves this time and time again (Deuteronomy 17:12; Daniel 5:20), and we are counseled against it (Romans 9:20; 15:18). 

The Lord answers Peter’s denial by giving more detailed information about what will happen in the not-so-distant future.

  1. That very night
  2. Before a rooster crows twice
  3. You will deny me three times

Again we witness Peters’s audacity in insisting He knew better than the Lord! “I will die for you!” At this point in the discussion, all the disciples were saying the same thing (v. 31). How little did they realize that their faith in Him would collapse as soon as they realized that He would not resist arrest or perform some supernatural act to save Himself (v. 50). How true the word’s of the Lord was, “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (v. 38). Praise the Lord that He is always faithful even when we are not (2 Timothy 2:13)!

How often do we presume something will happen one way or another?

Why do such presumptions betray our confidence and trust in the Lord?

The statement “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” summarizes the battle we face within (flesh vs. spirit). How is this evident in your own life daily?

PRESUMPTION

Indiana Truck Driver Injured After Collision with Bull

I saw this report in our local news and found it to be very interesting in a few ways.

Indiana Truck Driver Injured After Collision with BullSCDN Photo Archive

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3MGoW9_0gA5i43i00

Indiana State News By Evan Green

“A semi truck driver in Indiana was reportedly injured after his vehicle collided with a bull in the road.

The incident occured in Wayne County, and deputies were called to respond after the semi was reported to be overturned.

The driver of the vehicle reportedly did not see the bull that was in the road until he collided with it, which resulted in the vehicle overturning into a ditch.

The bull was killed during the incident, and while it was reported that the driver was injured, his current condition has not been made public.”

While I am sorry for the bull, I am thankful that the driver survived and is on his way to recovery. So here are some things that stood out to me in this story.

First of all, I bet he never in a million years would have thought that he was going to run into a bull and overturn his tractor trailer that day. When you think about it, we often begin our days presuming they will go according to our plans.

13 “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:13-14).

Second, how could something much smaller than his rig do so much damage? We really shouldn’t be surprised at this. We have all experienced the major train wreck of sin in our lives, and yet, we walked into it thinking it was no big deal!

” The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it” (Proverbs 27:12).

“O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you” (Psalm 65:9).

A story like this one reminds me to be looking to Christ daily, thankful for His kindness in providing me another day to participate in. It also reminds me to be diligent in using the means of grace that He provided (prayer, Bible reading, communion, and baptism), so that I will be encouraged and strengthened for tomorrow, even if I have an unexpected run in with a bull!

Half way obedience is not obedience

Extended reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-23

Devotional reading: vv. 10-15

Samuel told Saul the instructions that the Lord gave him to. He was very clear in his communication of the the message. BUT Saul did not obey the commands given him. God was grieved because Saul had followed his own inclinations rather than God’s clear instructions.

If we’re honest we can relate to this. We know what the Lord requires of us, we do our best to obey, and sometimes we even adjust things a bit because we somehow believe that it will be ok, even better than we were instructed (vv. 13-15)!

“But God’s principles for holy living call us to obey His instructions, to make a clean break with the past, and to refuse to compromise. Saul exhibited none of these qualities. He chose to spare king Agag and the finest animals instead of destroying everything as God had commanded (15:8-9). He even built a monument to himself rather than pay tribute to God for the miraculous victory (vv. 1-2). When confronted by Samuel, Saul tried to justify his actions (v.15), but making excuses has never paved the way to a new life.”

We must accept responsibility for our actions if we desire to grow. If we obey God’s principles for our lives we won’t be placed in the position of trying to justify ourselves for our disobedience.

Adapted from the Every Mans Bible

PRESUMPTION

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EXTENDED READING: 1 Samuel 6: 1-21

DEVOTIONAL VERSE:  Verse 19

“We like to think that because we believe the right doctrine and belong to the right church we can always count on the Lord’s blessing in our lives. Israel believed their covenant with God and the presence of the ark in battle would assure them of victory over the Philistines. They lost the battle and the ark was captured by the enemy.”

    “The Philistines also believed their idol to be superior to God until it fell and broke in pieces when the ark was placed beside it. The inhabitants of every city where the ark was placed were plagued with tumors. When the ark was returned, the Israelites who received it were punished for looking inside contrary to the law.”

    We learn a valuable lesson from this historical account. The lesson is this: that even those in a covenant relationship with God cannot expect His blessing when they are (disobedient) to His laws and commandments.

    Presumption, or “going beyond the limits of what is permitted or deemed acceptable,” regarding God’s holiness and kindness towards us, will always end up with His chastening hand upon us, not His blessings (Hebrews 12:6). God loves us and desires to bless us, but His holiness is always foremost in all His doings! 

“Because God’s holiness is a function of His transcendence, because he is high and exalted, nothing in creation can match the Lord in His glory, power, and purity.”

So, let us each day walk with faith and in obedience to His revealed will for us, not presuming upon Him more than he has promised (Romans 15:18)!

PRAYER: Father, forgive us for those times we tend to presume upon you things that we shouldn’t, or expect more than you promised. Please help us to regard your dignity and majesty above all else, so that our lives would be lived by faith and your name lifted up among the lost. Amen.

*Adapted from the Topical Chain Study Bible , 1983

  • * Quote from Ligonier Ministries article, “the meaning of holiness.”

PRESUMPTION

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Extended reading: Psalm 19

Devotional verse: Psalm 19:13

“Also keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression” (NASB).

I have recently read an account about the Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War when general John Sedgwick was inspecting his troops. The story goes that he was inspecting his troops, and at one point, he came to a parapet, over which he gazed out in the direction of the enemy. His officers told him that it was unwise to do so and that, perhaps, he ought to duck while passing the parapet. “Nonsense,” snapped the General. “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist. . ..” A moment later, it is said, Sedgwick fell to the ground fatally wounded. 

We are a lot like the General in this regard. How often do we take for granted something as being true without any evidence to the contrary? How often do we make decisions or venture forward without the proper authority or permission? That is what it means to act presumptuously. That is what Job’s friends did as they counseled him after he lost everything (Job 4-37). And this they did at times with evident arrogance, which often is attached to this sin. God called them out over it and told them that “you have not spoken of me what is right. . .” (Job 42:7).

The sin of presumption can manifest itself in many forms; that is why David petitions God to keep him from them. Unwittingly or willfully, we sin unless divine forgiveness and help aid us in walking above reproach. So David prays that his words, thoughts, motivations, and conduct would be acceptable in the sight of God, who is His source of strength. We also need the Holy Spirit to aid us in our battle against the flesh so we, too, can walk with integrity before our God.

Prayer: O Lord, we, like David, need your divine intervention in our lives so that we would not fall prey to presumptuous sins. Help us pray, think, speak, and act in a manner worthy of you, our loving Heavenly Father. Amen.