Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Taking a Stand for Jesus - January 22, 2014

Luke 22:54-62(The Message)
54-56Arresting Jesus, they marched him off and took him into the house of the Chief Priest. Peter followed, but at a safe distance. In the middle of the courtyard some people had started a fire and were sitting around it, trying to keep warm. One of the serving maids sitting at the fire noticed him, then took a second look and said, "This man was with him!"
57He denied it, "Woman, I don't even know him."

58A short time later, someone else noticed him and said, "You're one of them."

But Peter denied it: "Man, I am not."

59About an hour later, someone else spoke up, really adamant: "He's got to have been with him! He's got 'Galilean' written all over him."

60-62Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about." At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: "Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." He went out and cried and cried and cried.

In all of the Gospels in the New Testament we read about this incident, where Peter denied that he knew Jesus and was one of his followers. In the humanity of Jesus, this must have been the low point of His life, to have his friends deny and desert him. Peter was especially close to Him, and his denial must have hurt Jesus the most, even more than the betrayal of Judas. We can imagine that hurt, when a friend that you love really lets you down, but Peter not taking a stand for Him would have surely added to the humiliation that Jesus Christ had to go through for our sakes.

Living in a time almost 2000 years after this incident, it is probably something that is difficult for us to comprehend. It is hard enough for us to imagine the life and death of Jesus, much less fully understand what He felt going through this situation with His friends. One thing we can understand though is when we deny Him, when we are called to take a stand for Him. All of us can recall situations where our own pride and position took priority over taking a stand for Jesus. Each of us has more than likely failed to stand up for Jesus many more times, than just the three times Peter denied Him.

How do we do this? By failing to let those around us know how much Jesus means to us; by failing to taking a stand for Christianity in the work place; by failing to take a political stand for His morality when we consider who to vote for, if we vote at all; by participating in activities that He would be hurt by watching us do them; by failing to support those who are bold enough to take a stand instead of us; by failing to demonstrate His love and compassion to everyone we meet; by not wearing our faith in Jesus Christ on our sleeve, and making sure that everyone else knows about what He can do for them. In many ways, we have denied Him and failed to stand up for Jesus.

We find ourselves in a rare place in the events of history, and we are in this time and place for reasons only truly known by God. If you call on the name of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have an obligation and a responsibility to Him. Don't let another situation pass you by; when you are called to take a stand, and I am sure you will, make sure that you do.

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