The life and ministry of Peter. (Matthew 26:31-35)
The time for Jesus’ arrest, trial and sentence had almost arrived. Judas, one of the disciples who had followed Jesus along with Peter and the
others, had decided that thirty silver coins were of more value to him than the Saviour Christ.
Jesus knew His Father’s will must be done. His disciples were frightened by what He shared with them although He Himself was full of faith. In
verse 31 Jesus said: ‘You will all fall away on account of Me.’ He knew they would fall and so, in love, He warned them in order to soften the blow
they would inflict on themselves when they did. He did not say: ‘You can no longer be My disciples.’ Nor did He say: ‘I cannot use you any more
because of this.’ He knew what the Scripture said (Zechariah 13:7-9) and
He quoted it to His disciples. In doing so He showed us all how to win the
spiritual struggle and live out our Christian lives.
Know the price of being a Christian
Two forceful words are used here to describe something of the hardship
of living as a real Christian. God says He will ‘strike the Shepherd, and the
sheep will be scattered’. God was going to judge Jesus Christ Who would
carry the sin of the world. Jesus never flinched from paying the price.
This prophecy of persecution also carries the thought of purpose even
within persecution. God was working out His will in the middle of all the
trouble and turmoil that was coming to pass.
Maybe God is allowing some difficulty to confront you at home or at work
so that His work can be furthered. Can you believe that?
Know the pride of man (v.33)
Peter’s brash remarks that even if everyone else failed he would not,
showed that he had wrong thoughts about others, wrong thoughts about
himself and wrong thoughts about God’s word. The prediction of God got
lost in the presumption of man. If you want to win in the struggle to stay
with Jesus, you must learn to see yourself as God sees you. You must
continually repent of your sin and return to Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah tells us that God searches the heart. A wise person prays that
God will show them the results of that search (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Peter
knew what he should do. He thought he knew what he would do, but in the
event he was wrong. In Luke 22:31, we see that this pride came from
Satan. Jesus promised to pray for Peter and to use Peter even after he
had fallen and found his way back.
Know the promises of Jesus Christ
There are three promises in these verses beginning with realism in
verse 34. In the battle between God’s will and Peter’s will, God knew the
outcome. He knows that our flesh is willing, but He also knows it is weak.
Here Jesus promised His resurrection: ‘After I have risen I will go ahead
of you into Galilee’ (v.32). He had confidence that He would be there and
He also had confidence that His disciples would be there with Him. He
promised restoration for them. Their failure would not be the end. He
would forgive them. The coming debacle would serve as a discipline. The
cursing – although bad - would lead through catastrophe to cleansing and
commitment. Jesus promised Peter that on the other side of this experience
they would be there together.
Are you ready to pay the price? Are you recognising your own pride?
Are you relying on His promises?
Discussion guide for ‘Struggling to stay with Jesus’
Bible reading Matthew 26:31-35
1. What do you understand by “the price of being a Christian”?
Matthew 26:31; Zechariah 13:7.
2. How may Christians pay a price today? Give personal examples if
3. Peter’s pride, and the other disciples’ pride too, is shown in
verses 33 and 35. How can we avoid such pride today?
4. Where can we listen intently to the words of Jesus? Often they
are mixture of things we want to hear and things we don’t. How
can we avoid listening to only the “good” bits?
5. How does careful listening to God’s promises help us through tough
6. Make some time to listen to God by yourself. What do you believe
God is calling you to be and to do?