Bravado or Faithfulness?Bro. David Chancellor
4/19/2009 11:00 AM
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men; him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Jesus came for the benefit of humanity. What he told them they were to share with others. People need the revelation of Christ. They need to know who Jesus is. People need us to share with them what we’ve heard of Jesus Christ. We want to share it in a thoughtful and respectful way. We’re out to encourage everyone to follow Christ, but not to force them to do so. True Christianity has never been promoted at the point of a sword. We’ll be challenged, though, for what we might put forth at some point.
We’re valuable to God. Be faithful to confess Christ before men. There will be things you’ll experience for speaking up for Christ, but God cares about you still. We don’t want to lose our souls. We want to keep Jesus, whatever else might come.
Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
People often come to Jesus for the blessings. Jesus asked them if they were able to handle it. They gave the response of youth and inexperience – "sure." Jesus knew that they weren’t able then for what they asked, but that later they would be made able.
Mark 14:26-31, 50
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
And they all forsook him, and fled.
All of the disciples thought they could go through; it wasn’t just Peter. They were looking for a battle and victory, not for Jesus to be hung on a cross. What happened felt like defeat.
All of them succumbed to fear and ran. They found out they weren’t able. Without God’s help and grace, we’d do the same thing.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
They still didn’t understand at this point, but they understood later. They became witnesses and martyrs. They had to get God’s Spirit to make them able to promote the gospel. It takes the Spirit of God within to be faithful to Christ. The Spirit of God gave Peter the courage to stand up for Christ. It made a change in him. It takes God’s Spirit in us, too. We need the promise of God, too.
2 Timothy 2:11-13
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful; he cannot deny himself.
We need him with us to have victory over things. People want to see us reign with Christ. They want to see us overcome. In suffering, we can either reign or deny him. Things are going to come that we’ll have to face.
The disciples’ confidence had been shaken and they ran, but Jesus told them they’d be made able. We need to have it settled that no matter what happens, we’ll stay committed to God. Be faithful to him and keep his life on the inside.