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June 16, 2020

Have You Ever Let Jesus Down?

“But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all (the disciples) were saying the same thing also.” (Mark 14:31)

The context of the today’s verse in Mark 14 is that the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples has just happened and they are on the way to the Mt of Olives (Gethsemane) to pray. The plans for Judas to betray Jesus and hand him over to the Jewish leaders are in motion. Jesus tells the disciples that they will “all fall away” and tells Peter that he will deny Jesus 3 times. Peter’s response is “Never!” In Peter’s mind, he is resolved to be faithful and stand with Jesus until the end. As were the other disciples. Not more than a few hours later, Jesus’ words to Peter come true.

As I’ve been thinking on this story, I’m struck by two things...

First, Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denials, and the disciples’ falling away and leaving Jesus alone in his hour of need were all part of God’s plan. Jesus is not surprised by these happenings; in fact these events serve to fulfill Scripture (for example Psalm 41:7, Zechariah 13:9). Neither does it mean that the disciples are automatically disqualified or rejected by Jesus. All but Judas come back and are restored.

Second, this passage reminds me that God is committed to doing his part whether or not we do ours. He is not acting based on our faithfulness, but rather on his own character and lovingkindness. He acts in spite of us, not because of us. The Twelve were not chosen because they were such good people, or because they did everything right. They loved Jesus but they let him down. They trusted him—for the most part—but it’s Jesus’ actions that count, not theirs. And I’m grateful for that. Especially in those moments when I know I’ve let Jesus down. Our mistakes are not fatal when we are in Christ. Praise God!

Question: How have you seen God’s loving-kindness displayed to you?

Challenge: Read Romans 5:7-9 in light of today’s devo.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me and redeeming me in spite of the many ways I’ve let you down. Give me the courage to follow your example. Amen.

Geoff Horn, Chapel Leader -- San Diego Padres


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