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Feb 21, 2021

Peter: Failure is Not Fatal

Peter: Failure is Not Fatal

Passage: Matthew 16:13-23

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: The Twelve That Changed The World

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: gospel, forgiveness, disciples, failure, peter, following jesus, the twelve, denying jesus, matthew bible study

Peter | The Twelve | Matt Petty | Burnt Hickory This week, we study Peter and learn that even through failure, it's not fatal in our walk with Jesus. As we read the accounts in Matthew and Luke, we see that Peter was both a rock of spiritual strength, and a traitor when things got too real. In our own lives, we can take small steps toward denying Jesus just as Peter did if we aren’t careful. Pastor Matt points out that when we follow Jesus at a distance, mask our identity to fit in with the crowd we are approaching denying Christ. But it’s not fatal when we fall toward Jesus. Can people look at you and know that you have been with Jesus? Maybe you’ve slipped into not placing your full identity in Jesus or you have questions about what it means to follow Him. Take the next step and reach out to one of our pastors -

Well, good morning church, I saw a couple of you guys that were like, that isn’t in the hymnal. I don't know where that came from. But that isn’t there. But Good morning, welcome to church this morning. We are excited to be here and I'm not gonna lie, Sunday's are my favorite day of the week. Number one, I am a people person. There are rare moments in my life that I don't like to be around people. And number two, we get to open up God's Word and we get to just see what he's got for us. If you got a copy of Scripture today, I want you to get with me over to Luke chapter 22. Luke chapter 22. And while you're doing that, we're gonna be there. But don't fret, it's gonna be a little bit, alright? There's a long runway before we're gonna get to that moment, we're jumping back into the lives of the disciples, the original apostles, those that walked with Jesus that talked with Jesus that knew Jesus the best. And the reality is, these guys changed the world. Now, when I say change the world, I don't mean like a Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen changed the world. I mean, like, these guys changed, literally the world and a lot of us are here as a result of the foundation that they laid. And what they gave us the church that they built under the name of Jesus and how they walked with Him. So, what we've been doing is we've been walking into their lives, and we've been taking a deeper dive look into who they are.

We saw on week one that they were just ordinary people. The reality is, is they were like me, and they were like you and they're not superheroes that swooped in one day and caused this movement. They're just normal people off the street that's submitted to the call of Jesus. And then God sent them to impact the world. And we walked out week one, with this thought that the reality is, is that my call is the same as their call. And that is to give my life to Jesus, to walk with Jesus and to become a disciple making disciple. Officially, I am here on this planet left here after my salvation, to show other people who Jesus is. In week two, we started jumping into some of the lives of the disciples. And we saw this guy named Philip, he's kind of a second-tier disciple. He's in the second list of the disciples if you would, and we said that Philip is the logistics coordinator. He is the box checker. He's the administrator of the disciples, and Philip loved answers. He loved being type A, and I can totally relate because I love to check a good to do box. But Philip taught us an important lesson, in that sometimes our faith does not make sense. And sometimes we just have to step, listen to me, even when I don't have all the answers. You see Philip asked these questions all the time, and Jesus would just look at him and go, you just have to know that I'm yours. And I'm asking you to take a step of faith because after all, it's faith, right? If we knew everything, if we had all the answers, we could not call following Jesus, of following in faith. There are parts, listen to me, of my walk with Jesus, that are not gonna make sense to people who don't know, Jesus. There’re parts of what I do and what I say and how I give and how I worship and how I enjoy time, to where listen, if you're just sitting during that last song, and you're not even knowing what's going on, there are parts of me that it just doesn't make sense sometimes the things that well up in my spirit, but they're the Lord. And Philip says, sometimes you don't have to have all the answers. Well, last week, we looked at the Apostle John. And we said that John, the elder statesman of the group lasted longer than any of them live longer than any of them, he left us with this message of balance. And he said, Look, never back down. We said this 100 times last week from the absolute truth of God's Word, but then also live that truth with absolute love for people. And we said that was John's central message. In fact, if you read 1, 2, and 3 John, you will see later in life and even John's Gospel, you'll see him looking back into people's lives, saying, I love you, but in my love to you, I need you to know the truth. And then he would say, I need you to know the truth, but I'm going to share it in love because look, when one of those things gets off, we don't live a balanced life. We live it out an absolute falling off the wire life and some of us skewed towards one direction. He goes, No, no, no, it's the balance, truth and love. This week we're going to stay in the inner three, we're going to stay with another disciple that was closest to Jesus. And today we're going to look at the Apostle named Peter, the Disciple Peter, I love Peter. In fact, probably most of us if it were doing a vote today, Peter would win the prize for most liked disciple. And I think I know why is because most of us relate to Peter.

We relate to how he thinks and what he does and how he speaks and how he acts. But who is this guy Peter? Let me give you a little background. Peter was a fisherman, just like a lot of the other disciples. He was from Bethsaida. He was from this area where James and John were born his brother, if you remember, right, Peter's brother was the Disciple Andrew, actually Andrew was the one who introduced Peter to know Jesus. Andrew don't get any street credit from that, but he should. Peter was a fisherman from a line of fishermen. Peter was the outspoken leader of the disciples. He was the prototype, he was the outstanding kind of spokesman and listen to this, Peter was married. We know Peter was married, because Jesus early on in Jesus's ministry, we find Jesus at Peter's house and Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law. And in order to have a mother-in-law, by definition, you have to be married. There you go. Peter was a married man; we have Paul talking about him later in life. Later on, in the New Testament, talking about how his wife actually went with him to work in church, we also see that Peter has a lot of names. He's a confusing guy. Sometimes when you're reading about Peter, it'll say this guy's Simon, and sometimes it says he's Cephas. Sometimes he says he's Peter, sometimes it says, he's Simon Bar-Jonah, sometimes it says, Simon Son of John, Peter has all of these names. And you really have to be careful when you're reading scripture to realize that every time one of these names comes up, it's the same guy. And it's interesting, if you read the New Testament, every time you read Peters name, if he's with Jesus, and Jesus is talking to him, you will actually find out really quickly how that conversation is gonna go. Because here's what I know. If I am a kid, and it is time for dinner, and my mother says, Matt, it is time for dinner, I know that it's time for dinner. But if I am a kid, and there is any moment that my mom used, all three of my name's Matthew Blake Petty, I knew that a bomb was about to be dropped on me and I better go hide, right? That's how it works with Peter, when you're looking at Peter's life, if you notice Jesus uses the word Peter, something good is about to happen. You're about to see an act of faith, you're about to see a stand for the cause of Jesus. But if you see Jesus referred to him, as Simon, normally something's about to go down to he ain't gonna be proud of.

And it's so cool to watch this. It's also cool to know when you're looking at Peter that other than Jesus, there's not another person in the gospels mentioned more than the Apostle Peter. It's true, right? It just seems like he's always there. Seems like every story you read, every account with Jesus, it seems like all will be quiet and then all of a sudden, the Apostle Peter steps up, and he usually says something that he has to insert his foot in his mouth for. In fact, a lot of us relate to him in that way. A lot of us have an uncanny ability to put our foot in our mouth, and to say things that we don't mean. But before I get to some of the moments of his life, which some are incredibly God honoring, and some are incredibly rough moments, I think that if we had one message from Peter today, if Peter were to kind of have a devotional thought for us, if he were to boil down his time of early time with Jesus mid time, late and being persecuted, I think Peter would have one message. That would be his message to the church today, and I want to give it to you. Here's the principle for the morning. The principal for the morning that Peter would look at us and say is this; he would say your failures are not fatal. He will say your failures in your life are not fatal if you will just fall towards Jesus. Now, let me say that again, because I don't think you're feeling it quite yet. Peter, late in life after he'd walked with Jesus, after he'd done all that he had done, he would look at us and say Matt, put your name in there. Your failures are not fatal, just fall towards me. That's what Jesus would tell us, right? And then I could just see it in my sanctified imagination. I could see that smirk of the older Peter going, Hey, Matt, listen, I can say that, because I know. And I learned it from Jesus over and over and over and over. You see, because here's the deal. On one side, Peter had this uncanny ability to go big, right? On one side, he would go big, and he was an absolute icon of truth. He was a proclaimer of the gospel, he was a leader of the disciples, He was an example for all of us. But then on the other side of the fence, Peter knew how to blow it. And he knew how to bullet big time. We have so many occasions where he speaks out of turn, when he says something when he shouldn't, where he should of just kept his mouth shut, and watch what was happening. But he had to talk, we have an occurrence that we're gonna see in just a minute where he just outright denies Jesus. And so many of us can feel that tension in our hearts if we let us. So many of us if we had to define our walk with Jesus, it would be this walk that Peter has one moment, I'm 100% in, one moment I'm following after Jesus, my time and time in the Word is incredible. My prayers seem like they're on the express train to Jesus, my relationships are incredible. I'm living my life on the way that Jesus wants me to live. And then the next morning Matt, I woke up, and it all hit the fan. And I don't even know which direction is up anymore. See, Peter knows this life. And just like we've said, and every one of our disciples that we've looked at, if we'll let it, looking at Peter's life today, and looking at what he says today, can really and truly give us a glimpse on how we can walk because here's what I know. So many of us would agree that sometimes it just happens. And I don't know how it happens. It just happens. I go from Jesus Jr. to Satan spawn in like 30 seconds sometimes. I don't even know how that happened. Don't laugh at me, I know you do it too. I don't know how it happens. Matt, I went from, Matt, I don't know how it happened. But somehow, I went from summer camp high to spring break low before I even knew what was going to happen. Matt, I don't know how it happened. I went from singing about God never failing me to blasting my spouse over lunch. Matt, I don't know how it happened. But I went from reading my Bible to Keurig talk with the boys and I don't even know how it got to this point. Matt, I don't know at what point it happened. but I just know it happened. And Peter would go. It does. It does.

In fact, let me show you a couple times that it happened to Peter. Then we'll get to our text. Matthew 17 is the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter, James and John are at the mountain and Jesus is showing them His full glory and all that He is and they are in awe and worship and instead of Peter just soaking in the moment, Peter decides he needs to talk because that's what we do. Right? We just talk and literally mid-sentence God the Father goes, Peter, just be quiet. and soak this in. I love Mark chapter 14, where there in the garden of Gethsemane. And Jesus has gone ahead of them to pray. And then all of a sudden in verse 37, Jesus comes back to Peter and the boys and he looks at Peter and he's like Simon. Remember? I said Simon, there's all of it right there. We don't need anything else. He's like Simon, are you asleep? You can't even last for one hour? Yep, been there. John chapter 13. Jesus bows down to wash Peters feet. Remember the story? He goes to wash his feet and Peter is like, whoa, wait. No. And verse 8 tells us John 13:8 that Jesus rebuked Peter and literally said, If I don't wash your feet, I don't have any part of you. Matthew 26 they come to take Jesus away, to take Him to the crucifixion. We're gonna see this in a minute. What does Peter do? He pulls out his sword. Good thing. He's a fisherman and not a swordsman. He cuts the guy's ear off. Jesus puts his ear back on and Jesus rebukes him in verse 51 and literally says, Really, Peter, do you think I need that little sword? I could call down a legion right now. But this is the rhythm of Peter's Life. And here's what I know. It's the rhythm of most of our lives. Let's just be honest. The rhythm of our lives are we're either incredibly close in lockstep with Jesus, and then all of a sudden we're getting rebuked in like the next sentence over. If you've ever been married, you know what I'm talking about. This is how we operate a lot of the times. Matthew chapter 16 is probably my favorite. In Matthew chapter 16, the disciples are in this little private moment with Jesus. Jesus has just been tried to be trapped by the Pharisees. They're having a little team time. And then Jesus asks them probably one of the most famous questions in all of the Bible in Matthew 16:13, Jesus looks at him and says, who do people, say the Son of Man is? They replied, some say Elijah; some say Jeremiah or one of the prophets." And Jesus is like, okay, whatever. And then Peter steps up in verse 16. In Matthew 16:16, Peter steps up, and Peter looks at Jesus and he goes, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Do you remember happens next? Jesus, it's almost like a father, like being proud that his kid hit a home run. Jesus looks at Peter and he's like, wow, Peter, that's an incredible moment. You've heard that from God. And then what is Jesus do? Jesus gives Peter a new name. He named him Peter or Kephas. At that moment, he crowns him as that foundation is what the church is going to be built on. And I could just see Jesus standing there. I mean, I can see Peter standing with all the pride that he's just won the award with this hall of fame disciple moment going, that's what I'm talking about, boys, you chumps. I know this man. I am in lockstep with this man. But I want you to notice what happens four verses later. Four verses, Jesus tells them, he's about to go to the cross to be given to the High Priest to suffer for their sins. In Matthew 16:22, check this out. I'm not even making this up. "Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him." Now pause there just for a minute, just as a little nugget of free truth this morning. It's never a good idea to rebuke Jesus.

Never. He pulls Jesus, now look, he's in this monumental moment right here. The proudest of him that Jesus has probably ever been. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never Lord! He said. This shall never happen to you. Jesus turned," catch this "and said to Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan!" He didn't say it to Satan. He said it to Peter, he's like, "Get thee behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns." Now this brought Jesus back. Remember, Jesus just praised him? Jesus just renamed him. He's 100% all in, all-star Jesus Jr., right here, and Peter, four verses later, Jesus not calling him Peter anymore. He's calling him Satan, in this moment. Why? Because this is the same language that Satan used in Matthew chapter four, don't have time to look at it. But it's the same thought, it's the same idea with Jesus to go Hey, Jesus, you don't have to die, and Jesus is like, Oh, I have to die. I thought you knew what you were talking about when you called me the Messiah. But now maybe I was mistaken. This is hard, right? Jesus Jr. to being rebuked in two sentences. I live a lot of my life there, don't you? We live there a lot. And it's hard to watch Peter walk this rhythm. And can I just tell you, it's hard to live this rhythm? It's hard. It is so hard, because they're such polar opposites pulling at us that one day, we're saying Jesus is Lord of all and the next is like Jesus is not Lord at all. But one of the hardest things when we see Peter in these is that we don't get a glimpse into why is it or how is it that happened? But there's one moment Luke chapter 22. There's one moment where the Bible gives us a little bit of a glimpse into how is it that this happens to us? It gives us some warnings, it gives us some steps, it gives us a little bit of a roadmap on how is it that we can end up just outright one day going from Yes, Jesus to I don't even know who you are Jesus. And Luke chapter 22 is probably the moment that shaped Peter more than any other moment. And I want us to look at how Jesus was betrayed by Peter in Luke 22. Now, Luke 22 is an incredible warning. Peter would want us to look at it. He would want us to learn from his mistakes, he would want us to dial into this conversation. So, Luke 22 is the Passion Week. It is Thursday night of the Passion Week; they are at the last supper and listen to what Jesus says just to start the tone. Verse 31, first word, Simon, you know what's about to happen now. "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you all as wheat. But I prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back," now notice the sentence and when you have turned Back, "strengthen your brothers. But he replied, Lord, I'm ready to go with you to prison and to death. Jesus answered, I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times that you know me." They're sitting down, they're having this nice meal together. And all of a sudden, out of the blue, Jesus looks at the group and He's like, Hey, Peter, you're about to deny me. But when you come back to me, would you please worship Me and latch back onto me so that you can teach these guys how to do that? It's an odd way to have some dessert, right? Peter's like, No, no, I would never do that. This would mess with you a little bit right? The Maker, the universe looks at me and He's like, Hey Matt, look you're about to fail me. but when you come back, would you wrap this stuff back up and help some other people, this messes with you. But then we go back into the story, verse 35, through 53, they head up to the mountain to pray. Jesus is literally becoming sin for us. The inner guys, Peter, James and John go into the garden. This is when they sleep, the Chief of the High Priests comes, and Judas betrays Jesus at this moment. And now we have the rest of the story happening. Jesus has been taken to the temple court to give an account for who He is. Luke chapter 22:54, catch this, this is incredible. "Then seizing Him, they led Him away, and took Him into the house of the High Priest." And check this out. "Peter followed at a distance." And don't let that slip through. It's really easy. Let me read it again. Peter followed at a distance now.

I mean, just stop right there. Because if Peter were telling this story, if Peter, were giving us this account, if we were doing an interview with Peter, Peter would look at you and he would look at me and he would say, that's where the process all starts. That's where the cards began to fall. That's where I went from being Jesus Jr. And that's when the pendulum began to swing, he would say, in fact, there are some warning steps. There are some warnings. And number one, we're seeing it right here, Peter would look at you and me, and he would say, listen, we know we're in trouble when we start to try to follow Jesus at a distance. And we make no attempt to fully identify with him. Listen, I need to read this again. Because it's the first step of denial is when we try to follow Jesus at a distance, and we make no attempt to identify with him. Now, here's why this is so hard. Because most of us in here do not see this as denial. We just see this as American Christianity. We just see this as Hey, as long as I'm not killing anybody, as long as I'm not dealing heroin, I am okay, as long as I sit my tail in front of some preaching on Sunday mornings. What does it say? Jesus is not a fan of halfway in and halfway out? What did Peter begin his fall doing? He began his fall, being halfway in and being halfway out and saying, this is just normal, but it's not normal. I love how the King James puts this verse. I don't know why I couldn't get it out of my mind all week from remembering as a kid it said that Peter, followed Jesus from afar. It sounds so country, but it just kind of sticks, doesn't it? But don't we try to live our lives so much right there? Don't we try to live our lives in such a way a lot of times where we're just kind of, well that's enough for me right there. And I'm giving my little token right there. And I'm giving this little moment right there. But Peter says, this is where it starts. It starts when we just distance ourselves from Jesus. And here's the problem. It doesn't work. Halfway devotion to God does not work. In fact, Maxwell Lucado says this, he says, "Halfhearted Christians are the most miserable people of all. They know enough to feel guilty, amen. But they haven't gone far enough with Christ to find the full joy of the Lord. Be wholehearted for Him." One pastor said it like this. He says, the most miserable Christians are those that want to live one foot in each world, he says but the problem of that is this; when you stand in the middle of the road, you get hit with traffic from both sides. So true, isn't it? It's what Peter did. Look, has Peter said anything at this moment to deny Jesus? He hasn't said anything. But his actions? Listen, what did he do? He distanced himself from being a follower. And look, he knew what Mark 8:34 said. He knew. Listen what Jesus said. "Then he called the crowd to himself, Peter was there along with the disciples and said: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Listen, you cannot carry the cross halfway. When you begin to distance yourself from Jesus, that is the first step to denying him. We're looking at it right here. It's halfhearted distanced Paul's devotion.

But I want you to see step two, because this is just the first step. We don't even really realize is this step, right? I never say anything against God. I didn't say you did. You see denial step number two, Peter would say is that we not only pause, but second, we intentionally shift. We intentionally shift our identity away from Jesus, in an attempt to blend in with the others. We intentionally shift our identity away from Jesus in attempt to blend in with others. Now, wait a minute, Matt. He hasn't done anything yet. He hasn't betrayed Jesus. He hasn't left Jesus. He hasn't done anything. Okay, maybe. Or maybe that's just because you think you have to outright say something to do it. What is he done? He's paused his relationship, but now notice the progression. Now he's moved over just to fit in with the crowd. I'm not making it up. Look at verse 55. It says this. "And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them." Now, let me just let me just cast the scene. It's the middle of the night. It's not quite morning, yet. It's the middle of the night. They're sitting in this courtyard, there are no lights. It is a one like small fire. It is an intimate moment. And Peter sits down around this warm fire, and Peter literally tries to blend in. But do you see what he did? He didn't just try to blend it with anybody. Peter is now trying to shift his identity away from being a follower of Jesus and becoming one of the people who just went to arrest Jesus. You're seeing it now, right? He distanced; he shifted his identity in the middle of the night. Has Peter said anything wrong at this point? No. But his actions and associations have straight pointed at it. And listen to me if this can happen to the rock of the church, it can happen to me, it can happen to you. I love this because it's just showing me that when my faith ever hits a pause, I know something's coming. When I feel myself being drawn away from the people of God and being drawn into the lives of the people who aren't of God, I know something's coming. In fact, Peter, you know that in his mind, he was remembering Matthew chapter 5:14, where Jesus said, "You are the light of the world." But he's sitting around this fire, trying not to be the light, "You are the light of the world, a town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light so shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Peter is doing his best to not stick out. Let me ask you just a piercing question right now. Does this represent part of your life? Does part of your life, want to look, smell, feel and be so much like the crowd, that you lose touch with your identity of who Jesus is? Has your life been put on pause following after Jesus and now it's such a distance that you find yourself being drawn to the people who want nothing to do with Jesus? It's the first two steps. But American Christianity doesn't call those steps. They just call it normal. Oh, it's okay, Matt. I can be of the world but not in the world. I can be in it just not of it. I can be around. He's like, well, maybe. Or maybe you're starting down the slope. But here's step number three. This is the one we recognize. Step number three is that we're not just distanced. And we're not just shifting our identity. But step three, Peter would say is that we quietly deny, being a devoted follower of Jesus. It's just that we quietly deny it, we begin to kind of get those people around us that are closest, and we begin to make statements that kind of just allude to the fact that we're distanced and we're shifting our identity right now. And I'm just moving in a little bit of a different direction.

I love this in verse 56. Verse 56, this little servant girl comes around. This is probably the servant of the High Priest, the one that John knew that got him in and she sees the stranger and she looks at him and then Peter takes this one more step. Verse 56, "A servant girl saw Peter seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, this man was with Him. But he denied it. Woman I don't know Him. A little later, someone else saw him and said, you are also one of them. Man, I am not! Peter replied." Now you got to realize that these moments are personal moments, this little girl came up to him and she's like, Hey, are you one of them? And it's almost like he just wished her back to No, no, I'm not one of them. Another guy came up to him and said, Hey, you, you've been with Him. And it's almost like Peter just kind of whispered back in this little private conversation, maybe a couple people around the fire barrel heard him say, No, no, I'm not one of them. I mean, it's not a big deal, right? I'm just doing it with the people that are right around me. But this is where our life is, a lot of times. This is what starts, we distance ourselves, we change our identity and then we begin to those that know us best, what do we begin to do? Show them who we really are. And we began to let it leak that something is different inside of me. What did Peter do? He began to verbally deny Jesus to the people that were in this personal moment, Peter never dreamed this day would happen. Listen to me real close. Peter did not wake up this morning and go today's the day I deny Jesus! Just like we don't. He started down a track of going from Jesus Jr. to distance, to shifting my identity to let in some that are closest around me into really what's happening in me. Also, man, there's a piercing question in verse 58. And it's the question for me is that; Do people look at me and know that I've been with Jesus? Do people look at you? Do they know that you've been with Jesus? Step three is that we just, we began to speak freely with those that are closest to us. But they don't want you to see Step four, because it doesn't stop there. Step four is that we boldly and publicly deny having any association with Jesus at all? You seeing it, right? You're seeing the progression, private distance, changing identity, quietly spoken to those that I want to become like, and now we're seeing a public declaration, verse 59, watch where all this leads. "About an hour later another asserted, certainly this fella was with Him, for he is a Galilean." Notice who the guy is speaking to in the text. Is he speaking to Peter? No, he's speaking to the crowd. Now all eyes are on Peter, verse 60. It says, "Peter replied, Man, I don't know what you're talking about! Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed." Now I want you to notice something in that last verse. In this last verse. There's an exclamation point after the idea that Peter said, I don't know what you're talking about. Do you know what that means? That means that Peter didn't say this quietly anymore. Peter said it for the crowd to hear, for everyone around him to hear in fact, Mark chapter 14:71, Mark's Gospel that Peter probably is the one who gave to him. Listen to what it says, "Then Peter began to call down curses, and he swore to them. I don't know this man that you're talking about." Now, we don't kind of get that. But let me just tell you what this means. It's a little bit brash, but I apologize if it offends you. Jesus says this, I swear to God, I don't know who you're talking about. And if I do know, a curse from God can come down and strike me dead. That is literally the language that Peter uses. Now, what does this mean? It means Peter, slipped back into old fishermen mode, right? He started using some old Captain Sig language right there in the courtyard and now he's gone from this private internal moment to he is proclaiming to everyone around him, I have nothing to do with Jesus. Now, it's really easy at this point to write Peter off, really easy. It's really easy to write myself off, right? Because a lot of us have been in this situation. A lot of us this has been our track. But it doesn't stop there. You see, while he did distance himself and change his identity, and he did quietly deny and publicly outright deny he was incredibly overconfident saying he would never do this. And he was prayerless by sleeping through the prayer time, and he was isolated. There weren’t any other disciples around for sure all those things were there. But look, it doesn't stop there. And listen, it doesn't stop for you in this moment. Let's watch what happens next.

Verse 61. "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter, remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly." Now look, this weeping is not like, hey I got caught and I'm crying over it. This is a real weeping of repentance. And I love the scene right here. It's like a beat down Jesus stares into the eyes of Peter, and listen to what he said, I know, I know. And that's okay. Follow me. You know what happens next to Jesus. He goes to the cross. He takes on Peter's sin. He takes on my sin. And He sets me up to allow my failures to be the fulcrum for my victories. Why? Because your failures are not fatal, if you fall towards Jesus. This is the point, right? This is why they give us this occasion. It's not to bash Peter. It's to show me and to show you that, Listen, it can happen. But when it happens, I set my eyes back on Jesus. Get my eyes back to Jesus. John chapter 21, we see later on. Jesus has resurrected. He is with Peter on the beach. You know, he's sweating bullets at this moment. And Jesus restores him. He looks at Peter's and He's like, do you love me? He's like, Yeah, I love you. Do you love me? Yeah, I love you. Do you love me? Yes, I love you. And then Jesus says this. I love it. Do you know, I love this so much? They're on a little shore of the beach. There's a fire there. I mean, he betrayed Him around a fire. They're on, they're catching fish. Peter is a fisherman. This is all he knew. And Jesus looks at him three different times and says, do you love me? And then the last one, Jesus says the first words that he said to Jesus publicly, he says this. Peter, follow me. Listen, I don't know where you're at this morning. But I know Peter would say this, you're not too far gone, to turn back. You're not too far gone. It doesn't matter what it is. But Matt, you don't understand. I don't understand. And you don't understand where I'm at. And I'm okay with that. Here's what I know. Jesus does. And your failures are not fatal. Just fall towards Him.

Lord today, as we close in these moments, thinking of the words of Peter, and the actions of Peter, God, I pray that you just show us that our failures are not fatal. God, I know people, all in the sound of my voice that have lived in incredibly defeated life, because of something that has happened in their hearts and lives. God today, would you just set them free from that? Would you show them that their failure is not fatal? Would You lift them up and show them that You are great? You are Lord, You are forgiving. You set them free? God, I also know that there's other people that have started down the road. And God I pray that today, you would just identify when they step into distanced mode, when they began to try to shift some identity when they began to secretly deny and then when they begin to outright deny God, would you stop them in their tracks? Show them how faithful You are Lord Jesus. Because You are.

Now with your heads bowed and eyes closed. I just want us to sit in this moment for a minute. I just want to ask you a question today. Maybe you stepped into this message today and maybe there's been something that has happened in your life that you have never offered back up to Jesus to say, Jesus, I just need you to take this and set me free. Look, I don't want to know what it is. But I do want to pray for you.

And today, if that's you, if you just want to publicly say today Matt, I need to let this thing go and allow Jesus to cover it. Would you do me a favor? Nobody else is looking around except for me. Would you just lift your hand today and go Matt, I need Jesus to set me free from this? Anybody? I'm seeing hands, who else? Anybody else? Be so bold to say today Matt, I'm seeing it and it has drug me for too long. Amen. I see you, anybody else? Maybe today, you're noticing you're on the track. the steps.

Maybe today you just need to say Lord, I just need you to get me back. Point me back in the direction of walking lockstep with the Lord Jesus. Lord, let today be my beach moment. Lord, I just pray that during this next moment of worship, that you just allow us to see who you are to lift you up. And God for us to reconnect with the giver of life. Thank you, Jesus.