God is none other than the Saviour of our wretchedness. So we can only know God well by knowing our iniquities… Those who have known God without knowing their wretchedness have not glorified him, but have glorified themselves.

Blaise Pascal

 

Our natural inclination is to be committed to one another so long as the relationship doesn’t get too distant, too cold, too one-sided, too uncomfortable, too costly, too painful, or too embarrassing for us.  I can certainly imagine the scene in the garden called Gethsemane on that bitter night of betrayal when every last one of Jesus’ closest followers couldn’t even stay up and pray with him—the night that ultimately ended days later in the Victory to dwarf all victories combined. 

These disciples weren’t always committed exactly, and yet, Jesus never gave them an inkling of a reason to question his unflinching loyalty to them.  Jesus wasn’t duped either—he knew one was a snake from the onset (Judas).  Aware of his disciples’ inconsistencies, he had warned Peter hours before Peter delivered his I’ll do anything for you Jesus speech.  So, that doesn’t surprise me.  It’s what Jesus says to Peter before he predicts his denial that blows my mind.  

“Simon [Peter], stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon [Peter], I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.”   (Luke 22:31-32, The Message Bible)

Basically, Jesus says in all this—Hey, I know you are going to fail me no matter what you say.  The promises you are making, while they may be well-intentioned, are hot air.  You are gonna back out on me.  That being said Peter—I’m not only going to let you in on a little secret here, but I am going to let you know ahead of time that I won’t give up on you when you duck and run.  And even when you feel the worst about yourself, I won’t even think of abandoning you.  When you realize this, and you will—turn to your brothers and sisters in the faith and encourage them.

There will be times when we will prove uncommitted, but it’s essential that during those times we don’t despair—Jesus remains committed to us.  Following Jesus isn’t about telling him all the wonderful things we are going to do for him, and it isn’t about declaring war on his enemies.

Following Jesus is about having faith that he remains committed to every one of us when we fail him most.  

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