Monday, January 08, 2007

Jesus Predicts Peter's Denial

31 When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

33 "My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

36 Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."

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? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

I hear a lot of Christians tell me that you shouldn't verbally share the gospel with people, at least not right away. You should just "love" people and they will see your "light shine". They seem to be implying that by sharing the gospel, you are neglecting the love responsibility. Jesus clearly commands us to love one another here. Actually he is speaking about how we treat other believers specifically in this context. But, Then he gives an example of what it means to love someone. "As I have loved you... Love one another". Jesus loved each of us enough to tell us how much he hates sin, and warn us of the coming judgment.

He then mentions an example of what is not loving to Christ, denying him. If we just go around doing good deeds, in our own name, and deny the very one who gives us the breath to do anything, we are disowning Jesus. If you spend all day doing good for people and neglect to tell people about Christ, you are setting yourself up as a god. You are promoting yourself. You are puffing yourself up with pride.

The two are not mutually exclusive. Yes, we are to love one another. And yes, we are to answer to those who ask the reason for the hope which lies inside of us.

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