Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. ... Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. [Matthew 26:31-35 ESV]
I cannot imagine what it must have been like to hear those words from Jesus.
Put yourself in the setting and try to imagine yourself as one of the disciples.
Perhaps you would be thinking thoughts like these as Jesus and Peter exchanged words:
What is going on? The mood was sweet - we had just sung a hymn. Why was Jesus saying that we would all fall away? I hear Peter speak about staying true to our Lord and I am in agreement with everything he says. I will never deny Jesus.How could any of them know what was coming in just a few short hours?
How could Peter know that Jesus would not allow him to use a sword when the enemy came?
They were all ready to fight but did not understand the terms of engagement.
And such is the state of many to this day.
We all fall back to fleshly weaponry.
Sometimes we sadly prove to be spiritually impotent.
Following God has never been about fleshly power.
It has never been about fleshly weapons.
Following God has always been about unseen power and weaponry.
And those who don't understand this risk falling away.
People who have not prepared spiritually may not be ready when trials come.
Yet, consider what the apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians:
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.And maybe that is the message in our gospel passage today.
We will always fail when we try to fight spiritual battles with our own power.
But if we walk according to the Spirit we will be found faithful when the rooster crows.
Give me spiritual eyes to see Lord. Help me to prepare for spiritual battle.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.