In last Sunday’s sermon we talked about Jesus’ challenging words in Luke 14, particularly verse 27:
27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27 (NIV)
Jesus here is telling his followers that true disciples are willing to lay their lives on the line for him. Jesus isn’t pulling any punches here. He’s laying all his cards on the table and asking us to assess whether or not following him is truly worth it.
I came across this today and wanted to share as a follow-up:
37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
John 13:37–38 (NIV)
As we know, Jesus’ words came true and Peter denied him 3x when Jesus was in his hour of need. We also know how Jesus reinstated Peter after his resurrection (John 21:15-19) and the major role that Peter played in the early life of the church. Whereas Jesus meant what he said in Luke 14:27 we see in the case of Peter that Jesus is willing to give second chances, even to those who utterly betray him.
That’s our Savior! He requires much of his disciples but follows it with much love and mercy. Certainly our heart’s desire is to be wholly devoted to Jesus but if, and when, we fail his grace and mercy is always there for us.