DayBreaks for 3/31/17: Warmed by the Wrong Fire
From the DayBreaks archive, 2007:
John 18:17-18 – “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.. As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
I’ve been preaching through the gospel of John for a bit over a year now (I’m sure the congregation is about ready for something different!), but as we’ve gotten into the final 5 chapters, I’ve been touched and amazed again by the drama and scenes of the final hours of Christ. The washing of the disciple’s feet, the establishing of the Lord’s Supper, the prayers for the disciples, for you and I, the encounter in Gethsemane, the trials, crucifixion and resurrection. Is there any story in all of human history that can compete with these events?
When Jesus was inside the home of the high priest, John went in with him, because John was an acquaintance of the high priest but Peter, apparently, was not. He stayed outside, away from close proximity to Christ. It was night in Jerusalem, and it gets cold at night – every cold. And this night was no exception. You know how when you’re really tense and nervous about something how it makes you shake and shiver? No doubt Peter was shivering – and not just from the temperature.
Peter drew close to the fire to warm himself…John mentions that twice. What can we conclude? Peter was cold, but the greatest coldness was that which was in his heart, not that which surrounded his body. Rather than following John into the chief priest’s home where his soul could be warmed by the presence of the Lord, he chose an earthly fire made of mere wood.
We often get cold. This is a cold world – and we need warmth. We can stick with Jesus at those times, drawing our warmth from the One who is a consuming fire, the Light that will forever illumine all eternity, or we can turn to some earthly solution for our warmth. What is your tendency? When your world gets cold, do you seek to draw closer to him?
PRAYER: God, we get so cold in this world sometimes. Please help us to recognize where genuine warmth and comfort comes from, and to stay with Jesus through thick and thin. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.