The woman asked Peter, "You're not one of that man's disciples, are you?" "No," he said, "I am not." - John 18:17 (NLT)
When Peter caught a glimpse of who Jesus was he followed him until Jesus was arrested – after which Peter was forced to publicly acknowledge or deny he was a follower.
It is easy to follow Jesus secretly or when it is comfortable and convenient; or, like Peter when it's a group of us.
But Peter had his time, and a time will come when we as public leaders also will be forced to acknowledge or deny Him.
Given your title, prestige or position, are you ashamed to let people know that you are a Christ follower? Or, do you too deny you even know Him, let alone follow Him?
All it took was for a woman (some translations refer to her as a slave-girl) to publicly challenge Peter to acknowledge or deny Jesus. Jesus, the name above all names, yet Peter cowered to a girl who to this day no one can even recite her name.
It took a "no name" to cause a follower of Jesus Christ - an Apostle no less, to be ashamed of the name that is above every name. That at the mention of that name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth. And that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11 (NASB)
How about you? Who could cause you to be ashamed to be publicly identified as a follower of Jesus Christ and deny Him? A political ally? Colleague? Boss? Facebook "friend?"
Then let me ask you this. Would that person give his or her life for you, as did Jesus? Not at all.
Would that person hold you in the same regard if you lost your title, position, influence or resources, as would Jesus? Not at all.
At the moment you close your eyes for the last time, could that person usher you into the very presence of God for all eternity, as can Jesus? Not at all.
Jesus said if we are ashamed of Him and His word before men He would be ashamed of us when He returns.
"For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." - Mark 8:38 (NASB)
Keep life in perspective. Don't fall in line with the world. Fervently pray and ask God to give you His perspective on how, as a follower of Christ, to handle the political toxicity of our day in a way that honors Him, not denies Him.
Don't let your politics get in the way, neither be afraid or ashamed to stand out or if need be, stand alone for Christ.
Political upheaval, people, issues and all of life are temporary and passing away. You can probably name someone that passed away within the past week, month or year. Everything we can touch, smell or see will someday be gone.
All of life on all of earth is temporary.
The name of the girl who caused Peter to deny Jesus has long been lost to history. No one even knows her name. Yet the name of Jesus is praised today and will be throughout eternity.
The temporary shame before men and women of acknowledging our Lord and Savior can't compare to what is guaranteed by Him to be eternal shame later.
Don't allow your position or the fear of what others may think cause you to be ashamed of Jesus. He was not ashamed of you or me two thousand years ago as he languished battered, bruised and bloodied on the cross; not even today when we do pretty shameful things, He is not ashamed to intercede for us before God the Father.
Father, forgive me those times when I have been ashamed to publicly acknowledge Jesus choosing instead to keep quiet. Help me today to live in the awareness of His presence, peace and empowerment and not hesitate to acknowledge that I am what I am because of Him and have what I have because of your amazing grace. Help me to not ever be ashamed of the One who paid my debt - one He did not owe and one I could not pay. Amen.
Published on Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 5:53 AM CDT