Three Characteristics of Jesus

Douglas Southall Freeman ends the fourth and last volume of his great biography of Robert E. Lee as follows: “It occurred in Northern Virginia, probably on his last visit there. A young mother brought her baby to him....He took the infant in his arms, looked at it and then a … More

Denial

In this passage three characteristics of Jesus are clear:

1.We see the realism of Jesus (v. 31). He foresaw what would inevitably happen and yet he went on. Jesus has repeatedly predicted his death and resurrection, but his disciples are still unable to grasp how such things could happen to the Messiah to whom they had been looking.

2.We see the confidence of Jesus (v. 32). “After I have been raised,” he says, “I will go before you into Galilee.” Always Jesus saw beyond the Cross. He was every bit as certain of the glory as He was of the suffering.

3.We see the sympathy of Jesus (vv. 33-35). He knew that his disciples were going to flee for their lives and they would all declare that they would die before disowning Him. He knew that in the moment of his deepest need they would be gone but He does not condemn them. He tells them that when that terrible time is past, he will meet them again. It is the greatness of Jesus that He knew men at their worst and still loved them. He knows our human weakness; He knows how certain we are to make mistakes and to fail in loyalty; but that knowledge does not turn His love to bitterness or contempt.

This passage also shows us something about Peter. His fault is  over-confidence in himself. He knew that he loved Jesus and that was never in doubt and he thought that all by himself he could face any situation which might arise. We shall be safe only when we replace our confidence with humility which knows its weakness and which depends not on itself but the help of Christ.

Application

It is easy for me to say that I am devoted to Christ but this is meaningful only after it has been tested in the crucible of persecution. I hope that my faith is strong enough to stand up under intense trial.

Matthew 26:31-35 (English Standard Version)


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