Six Days to Easter -- Day Four

The Way Thursday —

 Read Luke 22:54-62 before beginning devotion.
If Peter was getting ahead of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane in John 18, he certainly was not in today’s scripture. Jesus had just been arrested and was led to the high priest’s house, which would then lead to trial, mockery, and beatings. Luke 22:54 says something about Peter that can describe many who have a relationship with Jesus.  It says, “But Peter followed at a distance.”

What caused Peter to follow Jesus at a distance? Looking at this moment, there are a few things that can be concluded. First, Peter still did not understand what was happening. Jesus had prepared His disciples that He would be betrayed, suffer, die, be buried, and rise from the grave, but it was too hard to logically understand. When Peter tried to make war in the Garden, and Jesus stopped it, Peter was taken back. Here he was trying to stick up for his Leader and Teacher, while Jesus reminded Him that He was the Savior. When it is hard to understand what God is doing, it is tempting to stay at a distance. Peter distanced himself because he did not fully comprehend God’s plan.

This moment was emotionally confusing. Peter was broken-hearted that Jesus was arrested. He must have wondered why anyone would want to harm Jesus.  After all, Jesus loved, healed, restored, and changed lives. It seemed like the last three years were full of amazing experiences with Jesus; now everything seemed different because Jesus willingly allowed His enemies to arrest Him. Peter didn’t feel like things were in God’s hands. It looked like and felt like the devil was winning. Peter believed the harassing lies of the enemy that all that was good and life-changing was coming to an end.

Peter’s fear and doubt caused him to not only distance himself from Jesus, but to deny even knowing Him. The result of denying Jesus was that he remembered the word of God, was convicted of his sin, and went out to weep bitterly because of guilt and shame (Luke 22:61-62).  Peter’s faith was rattled and things appeared to be dark and defeated.

You will always lose when you follow Jesus at a distance. When He calls you to follow Him, He calls you to follow Him fully (Mark 8:34).  Don’t allow misunderstanding of God’s plan and what you see in the natural to dictate whether you follow Jesus or not. Peter learned that his misunderstanding, his feelings, and seeing what seemed to be the end of the story was really the beginning of the greatest story ever to be told.

Thursday’s Challenge —  Being a part of God’s team requires being involved and invested in His plan. One of His greatest plans for you is the plan of salvation. Today’s challenge requires asking yourself some introspective questions and possibly some physical action (1.) Have you repented of all of your sins? (2.) Have you been baptized in Jesus Name? (3.) Have you been filled with His Spirit? If the answer to any of these is no, we encourage you to reach out to us! We’d be more than happy to walk through the steps with you. If the answer to these questions is yes, then it is imperative that you share your salvation experience with someone!
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