and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|January 1, 2009||
Volume 8 Number 1
Grace to the Humble
At the passover, Yahshua (Jesus) said that one of His twelve disciples was going to betray Him:
17 And in the evening he came with the twelve.
18 And as they sat and did eat, Yahshua said, Truly I say to you, One of you which eats with me shall betray me. -Mark 14
Who could it be? Sorrowed in their hearts, each disciple asked Him, "Is it I?"
19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? -Mark 14
It is as if each was asking, "Show me what is in my heart. Am I the one that will betray you?"
As they continued to eat the passover meal, Yahshua showed them the true meaning of what they were doing. They were showing His death. He told them, as they ate the bread and drank the fruit of the vine, to remember Him. Once He had offered His body and shed His blood, He would have made the way for them (and us) to enter into the new testament (the new covenant):
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. -Luke 22
Yahshua knew the hearts of His disciples. Even though they had followed Him and witnessed the many miracles that He had performed, they still were not fully committed to Him. He warned them that they would all be offended because of Him that night. They would even scatter like sheep when their shepherd is slain:
27 And Yahshua said to them, All you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. -Mark 14
Yahshua had been talking about a kingdom, the Kingdom of God (see Luke 22:16). As He spoke of His impending death, His disciples began to wonder who would be in charge after He was gone? Who would take over the Kingdom? They argued with each other about who among them was the greatest:
23 And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.
24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. -Luke 22
Yahshua reminded His disciples that His Kingdom was different from the earthly kingdoms of the Gentiles. In the Kingdom of God, the greatest is the one that serves, not the one who exercises power from a position of authority:
25 And he said to them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
26 But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve.
27 For which is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves? is not he that sits at meat? but I am among you as he that serves. -Luke 22
He told His disciples that you who have remained with me during my temptations (trials) are the ones to whom I give the Kingdom of God:
28 You are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
29 And I appoint to you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed to me;
30 That you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. -Luke 22
Yahshua’s disciples could not imagine that they would not continue with Him, even through trials. Look how strong and loyal they had been! They had witnessed as He performed miraculous healings (see Matthew 8:15) and cast out devils (see Matthew 8:16). They had seen Him walk on water (see Matthew 14:26) and some of them had even seen His body transfigured into a glorified body right before their eyes (see Matthew 17:2). How could they deny Him during a time of trial?
So convinced was Peter of his loyalty to Yahshua that he proudly boasted that he would never deny Him, even if everyone else did:
29 But Peter said to him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. -Mark 14
Peter, relying upon his own strength, sounded strong!
Whether Peter really understood it or not, the greatest event in the history of the world was about to happen. Satan, the "Prince of this World," was about to be cast out!
31 Now is the judgment of thisworld: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. -John 12
As the "Prince of this World," Satan had a kingdom that he was willing to offer to anyone who would worship him, including Yahshua. Therefore, right after Yahshua was baptized in water and anointed with the power of the Spirit of God, Satan came against Him. He tried to prevent Yahshua from fulfilling His earthly purpose, which was to save the lost from the power of Satan and bring them into the Kingdom of God:
11 For the Son of man has come to save that which was lost. -Matthew 18
If only Yahshua would worship him, Satan offered Him the temptation of the power and wealth of his own earthly kingdom:
7 If you therefore will worship me, all shall be yours. -Luke 4
Leaving no room for compromise, Yahshua responded to Satan using the power of the Scriptures, which say only worship Yahweh. He said, "Get you behind me, Satan."
8 And Yahshua answered and said to him, Get you behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord Yahweh your God, and him only shall you serve. -Luke 4
Even though Peter was boldly confident of his own power, he had also already had an encounter with Satan. After God had used him to proclaim the revelation that Yahshua was indeed the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, he fell into temptation. Satan used him to fight against God’s plan, which was to conquer Satan through Yahshua’s death and resurrection (see Matthew 16:21). Peter rebuked Yahshua for saying that He must die and be raised from the dead:
22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from you, Lord: this shall not be unto you. -Matthew 16
In his pride, Peter had allowed Satan to enter into his heart. Instead of believing that Yahshua was doing the will of God, Peter wanted his own will to be done. Recognizing that Peter was being used by Satan to desire an earthly kingdom rather than the Kingdom of God, Yahshua rebuked Satan as before!
23 But he turned, and said to Peter, Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense to me: for you savor not the things that are of God, but those that are of men. -Matthew 16
Satan had found a weakness in Peter. It was his pride and his desire for the things of man more than for the things of God. Peter was vulnerable to Satan’s devices. If he could destroy Peter’s faith, he would have removed a powerful witness from the Kingdom of God. Therefore, Satan wanted to test him, to sift him as wheat to see whether he could make him fall through the shaking sieve with the chaff:
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: -Luke 22
No longer calling him Peter, Yahshua told him that He had already prayed for him. He knew Simon was going to pass the sifting test. Once he was humbled into recognizing his own weakness, he would be "converted" through repentance. His faith would then be stronger than ever, enabling him to strengthen others, knowing that he must completely trust in God:
32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren. -Luke 22
Peter experienced failure after failure, denying Yahshua three times in one night! He became so frustrated that he even cursed and swore during his final denial (see Mark 14:71). Realizing what he had done, Peter discovered the weakness of the self-centered pride that was in his heart. He wept with tears of repentance:
62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. -Luke 22
Having been tested and humbled to repentance, Peter was able to speak boldly under the anointing power of the Spirit of God. He was thereby able to call upon the unbelieving Jews on the Day of Pentecost to also repent (see Acts 2:38).
Having first hand knowledge, Peter reminds us of the importance of the "precious" trials of our faith:
6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it is tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Yahshua the Messiah: -1 Peter 1
Speaking from the life-changing experience of his own humbling trials when he was being sifted, Peter says:
5b ...for God Yahweh resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your cares upon him; for he cares for you. -1 Peter 5
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