Monday, March 17, 2014

Good Intentions

My dad said, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." He was no philosopher yet he knew a bit about human nature. As I was thinking about the service for Sunday I couldn't help but think of his words. They fit the disciple Peter perfectly. He was probably born in a rather unusual contortionist position, his foot in his mouth. A couple of examples come to mind.

Remember the events that took place at the last supper? One of the things that Jesus did was to wash the disciples feet. Some of us get so caught up in the sharing of the bread and the cup that we might pass up what Jesus did before that.  Taking a basin of water he moved among the disciples, who were probably reclining on the floor. Moving on his hands and knees he gently washed the feet of each man. After washing the feet he dried them with a towel.

When he got to Peter the fisherman insisted that Jesus would never wash his feet. After some words from Jesus, Peter took a moment to get his foot out of his mouth and allowed Jesus to wash them. Humbled in the sight of Jesus, Peter asked to have his entire body washed. Jesus told him it was not necessary and moved on.

Near the end of the Passover Jesus knew that he was going to be betrayed and that all of his friends would leave him. Again, Peter rises up and boldly states that he will die before he forsakes his friend and his Christ. Jesus looks right into his eyes and tells him that before the night is over that he would deny ever knowing Jesus three times. To which, Peter declares in bold words that he would never deny Jesus.

 Jesus and the disciples walk to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus spends time in prayer. He asks Peter, James and John to support him in his time of need. The disciples fall asleep as Jesus prays. Three times Jesus prays about the events about to fall upon him. When the soldiers come to arrest Jesus it is the reactive Peter who attacks the temple soldiers slicing off a soldier's ear.

As Jesus is hauled away the disciples flee the garden and seek safety. During the night Jesus is friendless and faces the hatred of the religious rulers. During the time of darkness Peter is approached by strangers and accused of knowing Jesus. On all three occasions Peter denies even knowing Jesus.

So many of us make promises to God. We promise to stop doing things we know are destructive. We promise to stop drinking, stop smoking, gambling, cheating, illicit sexual actions. We promise over and over again, only to find ourselves in despair and depression because we cannot keep our promise.

Peter was incapable of keeping his promises to God, until his experience with the risen Christ and the power of Pentecost. When the active and powerful presence of God Almighty was lavishly poured out upon those waiting in the upper room they were transformed. Forsaking God was never again to be their crime.

Tedd Galloway is a former missionary and is currently the pastor at West Adrian Community Church. His book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God, is soon to be released through, Morgan James Publishing. You can follow Tedd on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. His website is,

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