A few years ago I sat on a bus during a company trip next to one of the other employees, and we discussed a lot of insignificant matters. We then talked about the business, and the things that could be done, the way it was headed, and what we thought the future was going to look like. It ended up being a great conversation, and I truly enjoyed the discussion. It was after we got off the bus that one of my coworkers asked me how I ended up sitting next to one of the owners and presidents of the company. My heart stopped. I had no idea that’s who I was sitting next to and talking with during the trip. I guess I knew he was important given his dress and the way he carried himself, but I immediately began to replay the conversation in my head to make sure that I didn’t say something really, really stupid.
Have you ever had one of those moments? If not, let me tell you—it makes you remember to guard your tongue at all times! I read about another person who had an even more incredible experience, and one that changed his life forever. In fact, it changed him so much; he is now a historically famous person. His name is Peter.
Peter was a disciple of Jesus. He was a very passionate person, and jumped at the opportunity to prove as much. When the mob came to arrest Jesus, it was Peter who jumped up to defend Jesus with the sword. He learned, however, that his reaction was not the way that Jesus operates. But that wasn’t the main lesson. The lesson was when he realized something much, much greater.
It wasn’t that Peter hadn’t seen Jesus do some incredible things. He had seen him perform miracle after miracle. He had heard the sermons and even the thoughts of Jesus first-hand. Peter knew Jesus. I believe that he just didn’t fully realize who Jesus truly was. Until Jesus told him that he would deny Jesus three times in one night.
I believe Peter was hurt. Just before Jesus told him that, he proclaimed his loyalty to Jesus. In Luke 22:33, Peter told Him, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.” In his mind, I believe Peter truly thought that. He would stand by his friend. And though he calls Him “Lord” here, I don’t know that he truly grasps that concept.
The story continues that Jesus is arrested and Peter follows Jesus where the religious leaders and soldiers took Him. He is recognized three times, and each time he is questioned or accused of being a follower of Christ. Each time, Peter denied it. It’s what happened the third time that really got my attention. I’ve always heard and read that the rooster crowed right after Peter denied Jesus the third time. Today, though, I saw something different.
Luke 22:61 says this, “At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind…” What I read here was that the absolute moment that Peter denied Christ, and the rooster crowed, “…the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Jesus knew, and He turned to see Peter. Interestingly though, it doesn’t say “Jesus turned.” It says “the Lord turned.” I believe it makes that distinction not because Luke decided to change proper nouns, but because it was that moment that Peter realized who he had been walking with, talking to, and living life beside. He realized that Jesus is the Messiah, the Lord. I can imagine the feeling that hit him deep in the gut, that beyond sinking feeling, that incredible grief that must have accompanied such a realization. It was the moment that knowing the head-knowledge of Christ became the heart-knowledge of the Savior. It was realizing that he had failed the true King.
Have you ever had that moment? Have you had the time that you suddenly realize that Jesus is not just “Jesus.” He’s not just a guy in an old book. He’s not just a prophet of old. He’s not just anything. He’s God. He’s the Savior, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords. He is our all. If you haven’t ever come to that realization, maybe this was for you today. Make this your time. Make this “That Moment.”
“Jesus, my Lord and my God, I realize that You are not just someone I read about, and not just a character in a book, but THE GOD. I pray that you would help me to see that daily, and to live in a way that speaks that truth. God, I want that moment. I want the moment when I realize just who You are, and where You should be in my life. I want you first. I want You to be in Your rightful place. I don’t ever want a time that You turn to look at me, and see that I have failed. I know that I will, but I thank You Jesus that You forgive me! I love you, Lord, and I thank You for Your words. I ask all these things in only Your name, Jesus, Amen.”