Matthew 26:31–35: 31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me2 for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
“I would NEVER do that!” Have you ever said that to yourself, or thought it? You hear of someone who has done something tragic and monstrous or disgusting, and you say in your mind, “I would never do something like that!” Probably, as you read these words, you are thinking of something that you would never in all your life do.
That’s what Peter thought to himself when Jesus told them that they would all abandon Jesus. “I would never do that, not in all my life!” Peter thought to myself. And then he spoke his pledge outloud. “Even if all fall away on account of your, I never will!” We know how that turned out, don’t we?
The fact is that in your heart and mind we are capable of the worst sins imaginable. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19). Given the right circumstances, and the devil knows how to set those up, we are capable of those very sins that disgust us. And chances are, we have already committed them in our hearts.
But did you catch what Jesus said? “But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” In other words, Jesus said that even though they would fall, he would be there to catch them! We have a living Savior who lives to forgive our sins and return us to grace. Rather than trust yourself not to do these things, trust in Jesus to give you strength to NOT sin and to restore you when you have sinned.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are my strength and my salvation! Of whom shall I be afraid? What terrifies me most, Lord, is not what others can do to me, but what I myself am capable of doing. Teach me to be humble and to repent daily and to trust in you alone for my salvation and my strength. And when I fall, restore me quickly! Amen.