Devotional Thoughts: How do we bounce back after letting down Jesus?
Verse 31 ... "Tonight all of you will desert me," Jesus told them.
You can imagine how stunned the disciples were when they heard this. They were still trying to get their minds around all of Jesus talking about his dying and now this too?
Verse 33 ... Peter declared, "Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will."
Peter, the bold one, the confident one, was he an ENFP? Anyway, he probably said what the other disciples were thinking but didn't have the guts to say. I suppose perhaps doubting Thomas would have been thinking, uh-oh, I got a bad feeling about this. I suppose he was an ISTJ?
Verse 34 ... "Peter," Jesus replied, "the truth is, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times."
Peter can't believe it. His response: verse 35 ... "No!" Peter insisted. "Not even if I have to die with you! I will never deny you! The other disciples do a "me too" later on in that same verse, And all the other disciples vowed the same.
The disciples fled in Matthew26:56.
Peter denied Jesus in Matthew 26:69-75.
Often at the end of the day, I look back on the day and I recognize there are times when I fall short in living out the Christian life. I get snippy when impatient with someone. I find myself being totally selfish instead of considering the other person's point of view. I quench the desire to help a person in need for whatever reason. Any number of things I know is not right.
Sin, an old-fashioned word, is "missing the mark." God has stated in Scripture what is right and wrong and when we don't live up to that, we have sinned. It is hard to admit this.
The disciples let down Jesus. They weren't there for him. They ran away. They denied him. They failed.
Who were the first ones to see Jesus?
Interestingly, it was the women followers of Jesus! See Matthew 28:1-10. The women then told the disciples the news and Jesus appeared to the disciples at various occasions. The following passages are not in chronological order but merely reflect passages after the resurrection where Jesus appears to the disciples in the four Gospels:
Matthew 28:16-20 (the Great Commission where Jesus tells them what to do)
Mark 16:9-20 (this passage's reliability is disputed)
Luke 24:36-53 (Jesus teaches them and commissions them)
John 20:19-31 (appearances with and without Doubting Thomas)
John 21 (restoration of Peter)
Though the disciples let down Jesus, Jesus didn't give up on them. He appeared to them and taught them and sent them into the world with his message. I'm particularly moved by Jesus' restoration of Peter.
How do we bounce back after letting down Jesus?
Remember that God is not finished with us yet. With humility ask for forgiveness. Allow Jesus to restore us just as he did with Peter so poignantly.
Lord, help me to bring everything to you. Help me to bring all the good stuff and all the broken stuff within me to you. I'm a broken earthen vessel and I place myself before you for your use and restoration. Amen.