Friday, February 8, 2013

Meet Me In Galilee

Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. 

(Matthew 26:31-35)

Isn't it amazing how well God knows us?  Just as He guaranteed the disciples that they were going to stumble because of Him, "this very night you will all fall away on account of me," He knows that we too will fail Him in our struggle between living devoted to Him and overcoming the powerful pull of sin and desire for self-preservation/control/trusting in ourselves.

What I normally remember from this passage is that Peter disagreed with Jesus and claimed he would never fall away even if everyone else did.  He thought he knew himself better than Jesus did. Jesus doesn't let it go but makes sure that Peter cannot deny his denial when it happens and would be unable to forget Jesus' knowing words. The same goes for all the disciples and with all of us who trust in our own resolve to hang on to Jesus. 

Normally this passage leaves me with thoughts on how the disciples had no idea what they were saying. If they only knew what would happen in the garden. Just look what happens 21 verses later, "Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled." 

But God's grace is revealed in this text in a deeply beautiful way that I never noticed until this morning. Verse 32 says, "But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee." In essence Jesus said, you will fall away but here's where you can find me. Meet me in Galilee. 

He knows that though we claim He is Lord, we will all act like we don't know Him. Nevertheless, He longs to put our shattered relationship back together. He invites us to reconcile and reconnect.

Next time your expectations for yourself in your relationship and commitment to Christ totally fail, remember that Jesus still wants you. Let Him be your Hero. Put all your confidence in Him and fall on Him. He will still claim you as His own.

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