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Love is all you need

John 18:15-18

  "15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so [did] another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. 17 Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, "You are not also [one] of this Man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." 18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.”

It is very interesting to me that Peter was so defensive. John was attempting to get him “in” because he understood just how passionate Peter was about Jesus, yet Peter did not see it that way… He was just threatened. Strikingly, it seems that Peter was unaware that just being at the gate, he exposed himself to being arrested as well… for some reason he felt that he was safer there than in the courtyard. He did not appear to take into account the fact that John - who was known to the high priest- was right in the mix of everything supporting Jesus and nothing happened to him. There are now two glaring questions. First, why was Peter so fearful, and second, why was John so bold?

    In Matthew 26:31-35, Mark 14:27-31John 13:36-38 and Luke 22:31-34, Peter avers to Jesus that he will not deny Him no matter what happens. This vehement denial is only rooted in pride, for the word says in Matt 5:37 and in James 5:12 that we are to let our yes be yes and our no be no. This means not only that we are to keep our word but that we need to mean what we say so much that we never have to add more than these words. If we take a look behind the scenes when a person {in this case Peter} goes beyond the simple yes and no, we can see that they are in pride. In fact in Matt 5:37, Jesus states that anything more than these two answers is “from the evil one” and James states that if we add more than these two words, then we are in danger of “falling into judgment”. 

    The notion of “falling into judgment” in James 5:12 is not the judgement of the Lord. No it is right here on this earth and it literally means hypocrisy or the acting of a stage player. Therefore when anyone emphatically states what they will or will not do beyond just what they will and will not do, it is pride and it is an open door. Personally, I have had this exact thing happen in my life. About ten years ago, I was threatened with legal action for something far in my past. I knew it was a threat from the wicked one to take me out -or as Jesus put it- to sift me as wheat, but I spoke with arrogant pride about it. I said- “I don’t care if they do do something, if they do, I will just start a ministry!” Now is starting a ministry a good thing? Yes, but my pride led me to believe that I was strong in myself - which of course I was not, and I received the full-frontal attack of the wicked one! He sifted me to see if I was a hypocrite and if I was play acting. It turns out that just like for Peter, Jesus prayed for me and I was able to start the ministry, but I did go through the sifter as it were. 

    So we can see that Peter was in pride and Proverbs 13:10 states that only by pride comes strife. That truth coupled with the fact that James 3:16 warns that “where envying and strife are, there is confusion and every evil work” opened the door to the wicked one to ask if he could sift Peter. Now- to be clear, when the devil asked if he could “sift” Peter God didn’t say something like “Go ahead… we will work together on this!” NO, the truth is that the devil had to get permission because Peter was in his {the devils} realm when he got into pride. This is similar to what happened with Job….Job was already in the devil’s hand because he was in fear according to Job 3:25.  Right after Jesus told Peter that the devil asked if he could sift Peter, Jesus said to Peter that He {Jesus} had prayed for him, that his faith would not fail - which means to stop. If God and the devil were working together then the house of God would fall. No there were at that time certain spiritual laws - as there are now- that exist because of the fall. This is one of them, pride = strife= confusion=every evil work…Period. So the answer to our first question is that Peter was not thinking clearly about the situation and so fearful because he had gotten into pride and did not repent. Remember that Peter stated that he would die for Jesus, but he would not deny him just when they were leaving the last supper to go to the Garden of Gethsemane? Well Jesus told Peter to pray lest he enter into temptation while they were in the garden and Peter fell asleep! Mark 14:37-38.  God always gives us what we need before we need it. He always warns us of things to come- we just usually don’t take him seriously! 

    On to the second question- why was John so peaceful in this same situation that Peter was in? The answer to that is easy and it is littered throughout the Gospel of John.  John referred to himself, over and over again in the Gospel of John as the “disciple whom Jesus loved.”  Now, did Jesus only love John? Of course not… but John had a revelation of Jesus’ love for him!. The word says that “perfect love casts out fear” and that he who fears “has not been made perfect in love.” {1 John 4: 18}. This is the answer. John knew within himself and had become mature in the knowledge that Jesus loved him and because he did, he {John} knew that God loved him too and would protect him- at all costs. In fact, we see this beyond just Jesus’ arrest and resurrection in the long life of John. Psalm 91:14-16 says "14 "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”  The word translated as “set” here is a Hebrew word that means to cling to, and to like to do. John clung to the love of God so strongly that this promise in Psalm 91 had to manifest in his life. That is why John walked in the shadow of death and feared no evil!!!! 

    Let this lesson open your eyes - receive it in your heart and chose to set your love upon God that you may realize and manifest that love in your life through divine assistance, protection, provision and peace!



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