Monday, June 7, 2010

"We Have Forsaken All!"

The rich young man had gone away sorrowful. The disciples had been watching and listening. Jesus had been asked by the young man what was necessary to obtain eternal life. When he was challenged by Christ to give up his riches he refused to make the sacrifice. It was at this point, that Peter decided to speak, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" (Matt. 19:27).

How interesting that Peter would make such a statement. Peter assumed that he, along with the other 11 apostles had truly "left all." He was mistaken.

1. Peter had not yet forsaken his pride. After all, it seems that he felt justified and better in this moment than the rich young man. That Peter was asking what he was going to receive in exchange for his sacrifices illustrates the immaturity of his discipleship.

2. Peter had not yet forsaken his own ideas. As Jesus revealed more about God's ultimate plan, Peter argued about it. When Jesus told the apostles that He was going to suffer and die, the Bible says that, "Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" (Matt. 16:22). Jesus told Peter in this instance that he was not mindful of the things of God, but of the things of men.

3. Peter had not yet forsaken his relationships. Why did Peter deny Christ three times? Peer pressure! Why did Peter have problems with hypocrisy and prejudice in the first days of the church? Because he could not stand to be unpopular! Jesus had stated that discipleship demanded loving God more than any other person, period (Matt. 10:37-38).

4. Peter had not yet forsaken his own will. After the resurrection, Jesus commanded Peter to feed His sheep. He then went on to tell Peter how many things he was going to have to suffer for Christ (John 21:28-29). Peter's response, was, "What about John?" Peter could not allow himself to accept God's will for his life. He was still involved in the art of misdirection.

Interesting, isn't, that Peter would make the statement to Jesus, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?" Peter was following Jesus, but he really hadn't sacrificed anything yet.

Is this a fair description of your discipleship? Or can you say you have forsaken all?

"For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin." ~ Hebrews 12:3-4

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