Morning Bible Study
Tomorrow is the last day to sign up online and pay your deposit for the
Israel Trip in November.
We will be visiting over 50 sites in Israel. You will see the Bible come
Yes it’s a lot of money, but it truly is the trip of a lifetime.
This will be my fifth trip. My friend Terry in Oregon has gone about a
dozen times. We’ve got one of the best tour guides in Israel (Miriam Feinberg
Vamosh) lined up to guide us (she’s the one that writes the tour books). We
know what we’re doing.
If you are concerned for your safety, yes there are concerns, but the
nation of Israel knows more about handling terrorists than anyone. On our last
trip, while people were worried about us being in Israel, the San Bernardino
terrorist happened (back here). We were fine in Israel.
Because our group will be small (about 20 folks), we will be able to get
more done and have more interaction with our sites. (slides end with Petra)
We are now on the homestretch of Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus is now in Jerusalem, on His way to be crucified.
Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:
(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son
of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on the previous Sunday, Palm Sunday, to
the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.
After cleansing the Temple, Jesus taught every day in the Temple.
We are now on Thursday night, the night of the Last Supper.
Jesus has told His disciples that one of them would betray Him.
22:31-34 Peter will deny
:31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that
he may sift you as wheat.
:31 Simon, Simon!
Simon – from the Hebrew word Shim‘own
This was the name that Peter’s parents gave him when he was born.
When Simon Peter first met Jesus, Jesus said,
(John 1:42 NKJV) …“You are
Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A
Cephas is Aramaic for “stone”, but the word John uses for “stone” is the
Greek word petros, which is the name
Jesus is giving him a nickname, like calling him “Rocky”. Yo Adrian!
:31 Satan has asked for you
Even though Jesus is addressing Simon Peter, the “you” here is plural.
Satan has been asking for ALL the disciples.
:31 sift you as wheat
This is a picture of shaking someone up to separate them from what’s
It’s like the process of winnowing, separating the wheat from the chaff.
(Luke 22:31 The
Message) “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all
of you from me, like chaff from wheat.
Satan would like to separate you from what’s really important in your life
Sometimes he does this by tempting you and getting you to stray so far from
Jesus that you think you’ll never make it back.
Sometimes he does this by creating such difficulty and confusion in your
life that you will wonder if it’s really worth following Jesus.
:32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when
you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
:32 I have prayed for you
The “you” here is singular, referring to Peter alone.
Jesus has been praying specifically for Peter.
Jesus is also praying for us as well.
(Hebrews 7:25 NKJV)
He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him,
since He always lives to make intercession for them.
:32 that your faith should not fail
Did Peter’s faith fail?
You might make the case that Peter’s faith did not completely fail, but you
can also make the case that Peter’s faith at least “faltered”.
Even with Jesus praying for him.
:33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison
and to death.”
:33 I am ready to go with You
Peter was not ready to accept that he might fail Jesus.
Sometimes we can think we’re ready to handle the bad guys when we’re really
Here’s a clip from the 1984 movie “Karate Kid”, where Daniel-son thinks he
can play a prank on the school bully Johnny and get away with it…
Video: Karate Kid – Halloween Fight
We face a dangerous adversary.
Peter would later write,
Peter 5:8 NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about
like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
We all play a part in the spiritual warfare going on around us.
If you think that you are strong enough to handle every problem,
you’re a …sitting duck.
The Bible says,
NKJV) Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
10:12 NKJV) Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Do you think that you will never let the Lord down and will never fall?
If you do, you’re in for a rude awakening.
:34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day
before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
:34 I tell you, Peter
Instead of calling him “Simon”, now Jesus calls him by the name He gave
Over the years I’ve heard pastors try to contrast Peter’s two names.
They suggest that “Simon” can also mean “wavering”, while “Peter” means
They will say that before Simon met Jesus, he was a quivering mess, but
Jesus made Peter someone solid that He would build His church on.
But pay attention here:
Jesus has already hinted that Simon’s
faith might be shaken as he’s being “sifted”.
Then Jesus says that it’s “Rocky” that’s going to flat out deny that he
even knows Jesus.
:34 you will deny three times that you know Me
deny – aparneomai – to
deny; to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone
The word is used in:
(Luke 12:9 NKJV) But he who
denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
I’ve had folks talk to me who feel like they’ve failed the Lord, and are
facing hell because God is now going to deny them.
Peter denied the Lord. Three times.
In Luke 12:9 Jesus is warning about denying Him as a way of life, not the
occasional, expected failure.
You will fail
Here’s a lovely word of encouragement. But it’s the truth.
This wasn’t the first-time Peter failed.
After having made the magnificent proclamation that Jesus was the Christ,
the Son of the Living God (Mat. 16:16) …
The next thing you know Peter is rebuking Jesus for talking about being
killed and Jesus says to him,
16:23 NKJV) …“Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not
mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
It won’t even be the last time that Peter fails.
A few years later, Peter would be up north visiting the Gentile believers
For a while Peter was being gracious and hanging out with the Gentile
believers, but when legalistic Jewish teachers showed up, Peter stopped hanging
with the Gentiles.
Paul himself had to take action,
2:11 NKJV) …I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed
You and I were born with a sin nature. After you accept Christ as your
Savior, you still have a sin nature.
Though Jesus is at work in us to help us sin less, we are still going to
Paul the apostle wrote to the Romans,
NLT) —18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful
nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I
don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
The driver rolls down the window. The
driver is a squirrel. The squirrel says to the man says, “See, it’s not as easy
as it looks, is it?”
The Christian life is not as easy as it
You are going to fail at times.
Others are going to fail at times.
Learn compassion on others who fail because you could be
:32 when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren
After the fall
Jesus knew that Peter would fall, and He told him what to do when he did.
Peter would fail, and he would need to turn his life around.
returned – epistrepho –to turn to; to the worship
of the true God; to bring back to the love and obedience of God
The idea is that when you are going down the road the
wrong way, you turn around.
It may take you days, it may take you minutes, but turn
After turning things around, Peter was to strengthen others.
strengthen – sterizo (“steroids”) –to make stable, fix; to strengthen, make firm
Strengthening others requires that we be in “community” with others.
We need each other.
Developing relationships with others in the church is
vital – things like the Men’s and Women’s fellowship, like the Home
Video: Lord of the Rings – I Can
We will all face times like Frodo when we feel like we
can’t make it up the hill.
We all need Sams in our life, we need to be “Sams” to each
other. Learn to carry each other. That requires connection, relationship.
One of the ways we strengthen each other is by admitting our own
Knowing that others struggle and have found grace, mercy,
and help, encourages me that I too can overcome my sin.
When we pretend that we never struggle, we only perpetuate
the lie that Christians are supposed to be perfect. And nobody can live up to
The truth is, we all fail. Even me.
You need to know that I fail just like you do.
And like you, I will turn around and strengthen others.
22:35-38 Two Swords
:35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and
sandals, did you lack anything?” So they said, “Nothing.”
:35 did you lack anything?
Jesus is reminding the guys of several previous times when He sent them out
on mission trips.
He sent out the twelve in Luke 9 telling them,
(Luke 9:3 NLT) “Take
nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a
traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.
Later, when He sent out 70 disciples on a bigger mission trip, He gave the
(Luke 10:4 NLT) Don’t take
any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals.
One of the lessons of those early mission trips was to learn to live by
faith, to learn to let God lead and let God provide.
And now Jesus asks them to think back and recall whether they had actually
lacked for anything when they were on that trip.
They recalled they had been just fine.
:36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it,
and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and
:36 But now
Jesus is going to contrast that earlier time with what’s up ahead.
Changing times require a different response on our part.
Some of us get quite inflexible about things.
We think that our whole life needs to be lived under the guidelines of
those early days.
But sometimes new adventures require new guidelines.
:36 he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one
Was Jesus really asking His disciples to start carrying weapons?
Some take this passage to be spiritual, that the Word of God is our “sword”
of the Spirit.
Yet when the disciples will mention in a minute that they have a couple of literal
swords, that seems to satisfy Jesus.
Keep in mind, if you find this puzzling, so did the disciples.
When Judas brings the soldiers to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Jesus…
NKJV) —10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high
priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus
said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which
My Father has given Me?”
In Jesus instructing His disciples to carry swords, He was
also certainly saying that there was a proper time and place to use them, and
when Jesus was arrested, that was NOT the proper place.
Matthew records Jesus warning the disciples that those who
take the sword will perish by the sword (Mat. 26:52).
Luke records that Jesus went on and healed Malchus’ ear
:37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished
in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things
concerning Me have an end.”
:37 this which is written must still be accomplished
When Jesus asks the disciples to get swords, He’s connecting it with the
fulfillment of this prophecy, and it’s a little vague as to just how.
It’s possible that Jesus means that the disciples are to be the
“transgressors” because they are sword-carrying men.
I think it’s more likely that Jesus is saying that things are going to get
rough. Jesus Himself is about to be treated like a criminal, and His disciples
may need to take measures for self-defense, like having swords.
:38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to
them, “It is enough.”
:38 here are two swords
God and guns
Some folks use this passage to justify Christians owning guns, or, modern
I’m NOT going to clarify this issue for you. I want to you think about your
I found it amusing a few weeks ago when we showed fictional 1953 movie “The
Robe”, that the Christian Roman Tribune Marcellus was using his sword to free
his friend Demetrius.
The Bible does make it clear that it’s okay for soldiers and policemen to
NKJV) —1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there
is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed
by God. 2 Therefore
whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who
resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want
to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from
the same. 4 For he is
God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not
bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute
wrath on him who practices evil.
God gives the government authority to use weapons.
I found it interesting that of the remaining eleven disciples (Judas has
already left them), two of them already had swords.
But notice, Jesus doesn’t seem to think that they all need to be carrying
Two was enough.
If Jesus was thinking of mounting an armed resistance,
they would need more than two swords.
But to be honest, I do not know of any record of any of these disciples ever
using a sword after Peter’s incident in the garden later that night.
There’s a time to fight and there’s a time not to.
If you are going to own a sword (or a gun), you need to be careful that you
know when the right time is to use it, lest Jesus be reminding you that those
who live by the sword also die by the sword.
:37 He was numbered with the transgressors
He died for me
Part of this prophetic fulfillment had to do with Jesus being condemned to
die between two thieves.
Yet Jesus was quoting from,
(Isaiah 53:12 NKJV)
I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with
the strong, Because He
poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore
the sin of many,
made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah wrote that Jesus would die for sins.
Jesus even prays for sinners.
The Bible says that I too am a “transgressor”.
(Romans 3:23 NLT) For everyone
has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
5:20–21 NLT) —20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through
us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made
Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be
made right with God through Christ.
Are you a sinner? Have you done things that are wrong?
How can you ever find forgiveness with God for what you’ve done?
Only through Jesus.
This is not just for those who have never opened their heart to Jesus, but
for long-time Christians as well.
We all need forgiveness.
We all need Jesus.