So what can we learn from Mark 14? There is such a lot happening in the lead-up to Jesus’ crucifixion, and so much to learn, but I would like to focus on something that you may not have thought of before. Peter. Yes, this is a very trying time for Jesus, and there is plenty that we could focus on, but that is often spoken about. What we may not have thought about, is Peter’s part in this, and what we can learn from it. Peter often reminds me of me, loads of potential, keen to do what he can, but constantly seems to mess up. Enthusiasm, mixed with failure. Let’s take a look at what Peter is going through, and see if it rings a bell with us.
Take a look at verses 29 to 31. Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter declared emphatically. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the others vowed the same. Peter is keen, confident and self assured. He can’t possibly believe that he would desert Jesus. Even after Jesus tells him that he will, he still says that he won’t. His mouth is writing cheques that he just can’t cash. Do you find yourself doing this? What I find amazing is that Jesus knows that he will deny him. Does Jesus love him any less? Does Jesus give up on him? No. Jesus has already named him ‘the rock’, even though Jesus knows what he will do. That I find amazing. Jesus doesn’t seemed phased at what will happen. Peter is the one who is upset by the fact that Jesus suggested that he would deny Him. It appears that us messing up is not as big a deal to Jesus, as the fear of it is to us. Interesting.
Have a look at verses 66 – 72. Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth. But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept. Have you ever failed this miserably? This is one of the things that I admire about Peter. Even after this happened, he still went on to be the cornerstone of the church. This is the same guy that walked down the street, and people were healed when his shadow passed them! Do you see the change that must have happened in Peter’s life? The same stubbornness which caused him to get upset when Jesus said that he would deny Him, also helped him to be determined enough to reach what Jesus wanted for him. How many of us would like to be where Peter ended up, but how many of the same people would give up if they went through what Peter went through? We want to reach the destination, but we don’t want to walk the route.
Jesus never gave up on Peter, He knew what he could achieve. Jesus has never, nor will He ever, give up on you. He knows what you can achieve. If Jesus doesn’t give up on us, why do we so often give up on ourselves? If you have messed up, like Peter did, rest assured that Jesus still loves you. He still wants you to continue, He still knows what you can achieve. Do you still believe that you can achieve what God has called you to? Learn from Peter’s life, and don’t give up. However badly you think you have messed up, it came as no surprise to Jesus, and He still called you.
Learn from Peter, never give up.