Watch Your Distance!
Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off. ~Luke 22:54
When learning to drive an automobile, the driving instructor will caution every student driver to watch his distance. By this, it means that the driver should not drive so close to the car in front of him that he could accidentally rear-end the other driver. It is a saying that is meant for safety. This morning, we want to apply this thought of watching our distance for safety as well. The application is meant to encourage us not to be so far away in our distance to the Lord that our fellowship with Him is adversely affected.
We see Peter and his pretension.
Peter’s spiritual decline did not occur overnight. His decline was the culmination of many other uncorrected steps that he had made. The first of these failed steps was his pretension, or pride. Peter would not grasp how serious the situation was that he and the other disciples were entering into. Jesus bluntly told him that Satan sought to sift him as wheat but that He was praying that his faith would not fail. Instead of seeing the warning signs, Peter arrogantly said that he was ready to go with the Lord, both to prison and, even, to death. Peter had forgotten the words of Solomon: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” He assumed that he was stronger, smarter, and more spiritual than he really was. Let’s be careful of being pretentious about our faith!
We see Peter on the perimeter.
After Jesus was arrested and taken to the high priest's house, “Peter followed afar off.” Peter was not in his usual place of being among the three closest men to Jesus. Peter purposely followed Jesus from a far distance. Following afar off means you are so far away that no one else notices you. Following afar off means you are so far away that your association cannot be questioned. It means you have purposely removed yourself from a place of closeness and fellowship. Peter was so far away that his spirit had changed for the worse. Peter was so far away that his speech had changed for the worse. Peter was so far away that his spirituality had changed for the worse. Following the Lord from afar off is the worst place to position yourself.
We see Peter and his parting.
Peter was so far from the Lord that when questioned about his association to Him, he denied it three times. By the third time the cock crowed that night, Peter remembered the words of the Lord Jesus! Those words burned in his heart as a hot branding iron seared on the back of a horse. To top this off, Peter looked in the direction of the Lord, and when his eyes met the eyes of the Lord Jesus, Peter was smitten in his heart. He went out and wept bitterly. Peter made a bitter parting that night. Following afar off will always result in ultimate, bitter weeping.
We see Peter and a precaution.
Peter’s action is one that we must heed. We must always be vigilant. We must watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation. We must realize that it takes diligence, discipline, and determination to stay close to the Lord. If Peter could get into this kind of trouble, so can we. Don’t be a far-off Christian! Close the distance between you and the Lord by humbling yourself and drawing near to Him. Watch your distance and make sure that you are not too far behind!
Have a close God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 14-16