July 9, 2017

No, Lord … By Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:00 am by sranderson0103

No, Lord!” Peter said. “For I have never eaten anything common and ritually unclean!” (Acts 10:14 Holman)

Impetuous Peter. Words fly out of his mouth unrestrained. Just a little thoughtful consideration would have helped him avoid this foolish self-contradiction. He affirms Jesus is his Lord and then, in the same breath, refuses to submit.

His words remind us of an old quote. “Make sure your brain is engaged before putting your mouth in gear.” Farmers Almanac

Peter could have used this wisdom at the Transfiguration when he made a similar blunder, bringing a rebuke directly from God.

“Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!’” (Mark 9: 5-7 NKJV)

J B PHILLIPS translation says…

“Peter burst out to Jesus, “Master, it is wonderful for us to be here! Shall we put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah?” He really did not know what to say, for they were very frightened. Then came a cloud which overshadowed them and a voice spoke out of the cloud, ‘This is my dearly-loved Son. Listen to him!’”

Peter had observed the Jewish dietary restrictions all his life. We are all designed so that habits become ingrained and “second nature.” There is a positive advantage in not having to think about such conduct. It happens automatically. However, changing this conduct becomes extremely difficult. Peter reflexively resisted and told the lord, “No!” It took another rebuke from heaven (actually three more) together with coordinated, providential circumstances to produce Peter’s righteous response.

Submission is difficult, for multiple reasons. The result is that many Christians who have called Jesus their Savior and Lord, question or disregard His Word. Sometimes they say ‘No!”

Faithful Christians may legitimately discuss and question different interpretations of the Word, but there is never justification for questioning the authority of our Lord (Matthew 28:18), regardless of our familiar, habitual practices or pressures from society.

Our Lord himself asked the stinging question, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

It was Peter again, who demonstrated inconsistency when Christ told of His imminent crucifixion. “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You. (Matthew 16:22). The Lord new the difficulty Peter was having and responded with a severe rebuke.

“Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s,” (Matthew 16:23).

It was not Peter’s prerogative, nor is it ours, to question the Word of the Lord, to challenge His authority, even when we don’t yet understand it.

A failure to learn this lesson can have deadly, eternal consequences. Jesus warned disobedient disciples who professed His Lordship.

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, …“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS,’” (Matthew 7:22-23).

Peter learned his lesson. He was soon teaching Cornelius regarding Jesus Christ, “he is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36). The life he lived thereafter, demonstrated much greater consistency with that eternal truth. Later, he spoke of the practical effect of Jesus as Lord. He assured that Christians would be “…neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (II Peter 1:8).

Likewise, Paul speaks plainly of the eternal consequence of failing to acknowledge with our lives that Jesus is Lord.

“Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” (II Thessalonians 1:7-8)

Have you obeyed, are you obeying your Lord?

 

 

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