Matthew 26:31-35 / Mark 14:27-31…
Jesus tells the disciples that something was about to happen in partial fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture (Zechariah 13:7). He was the shepherd about to be struck, and they are the sheep about to be scattered. But while they would be temporarily scattered, Jesus also affirmed that they would not be scattered for long. He would return to lead His sheep.
Still, the disciples didn’t understand; they all boasted of their devotion, especially Peter. Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away….And all the disciples said the same. How often are we like this, where we deny the very words of Christ in our spiritual bravado? Oh no, not us, we will never fail, never fall, we won’t sin, we’ll always win. This is because when we hear Jesus say, “Because of me” we think it is about us, but it is about Him.
The truth is that we cannot trust in the power of our own hearts (Jeremiah 17:9 / 1 Corinthians 10:12). We think of Jesus telling Peter that he would indeed deny Him three times later that night, and he did. But think about this. Peter denied Jesus two times right there in that same conversation! Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you! Here he is defiantly denying that he will deny, yet failing to realize that this was a denial right there in itself. He was telling Jesus that He was wrong, about this application of the scriptures, and about Peter himself!
You’d think we would all learn a little quicker, and a little less ironically at times. But that’s just the point, isn’t it? Still, even our failures do not thwart God’s purposes. We remain responsible, but He remains in control. It is a comfort to know that the Lord can use those who have failed Him. It should give you confidence, not in the power of your will, but the power of His will.