365 Prophecies: Prophecy 93
The Messiah will be a reproach among His friends. Those who observe His suffering will flee from Him and stand at a distance.
Old Testament Prediction:
Psalms 31:11 “I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me.”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Luke 22:52-54 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance.
Luke 23:46-49 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last. So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
A short time before Jesus was arrested, Peter had given assurance to the Lord, that even if all the others should deny Jesus, he would never deny Him. Jesus, predicting a future event, told Peter that not only would he not be willing to die for Him, but he would deny that he even knew Jesus, three times. See The Predictions of Jesus.
Matthew 26:31-35 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”
Luke’s testimony is that when Jesus was arrested, Peter followed at a distance and watched Him without saying a word in His defense.
Luke 22 “…Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance.”
As Jesus hung on the cross, most of those who had been following Him and had made confessions of faith in Him, stood at a distance. They were afraid to be identified with Jesus, fearing that they might also suffer the same consequences that He was suffering.
This was the purpose to which David wrote Psalm 31:11, that when the Messiah would suffer on the cross, those who had been His closest friends would abandon Him.
We all deny Jesus
How many times do we distance ourselves from the Lord without being identified with Him and the sacrifice that He made for us? When we fail to acknowledge the Lord before those we meet, we are also denying Him. When we act in a manner that is improper for a person who claims to be a follower of Jesus, we are misrepresenting who He is. When we use words or actions which are contrary to the character of Jesus, we bring Him further reproach and deny Him His rightful place as Lord of our life.
These are difficult matters, but not without solutions. It is possible to be more faithful to the Lord—who has been so very faithful to us. We can acknowledge Him in every area of our life, if that is our desire. The promise of God is that if we will delight ourselves in Him—He will give us the desires of our heart.
Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
No one who loves Jesus will have total mastery over all the words and actions of their life during their short stay here on earth. The degree of our dedication—will in large part—be determined by how much we appreciate what Jesus has done for us. Our humility before people and the Lord will depend on how frequently we understanding our own weaknesses and sin. If we comprehend what has been forgiven—us, and how greatly Jesus has suffered to make our forgiveness possible, we will be humble and gentle people.
Peter’s failure was due in large part, to his pride and self reliance. Like many of us, Peter believed that when moments of trial arrived, he would be able to stand up against fear and doubts. His mistake was in thinking that he could die for Jesus when his life was in jeopardy—when in fact he could not even live for his Lord when his faith was tested.
None of us are any stronger than Peter. If we think that we are, we have been fooled by the deceit of our own heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
Jesus knew that Peter would deny Him. The Lord understands when we are tested, our fears will cause us to fail. In all our weaknesses, Jesus is so very compassionate and kind to us. Jesus told Peter that when he recovered from this failure, to return to Him and take what he had learned and strengthen the other believers.
Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
This 93rd prophecy reminds us that Jesus became a reproach for us. When His life was put on trial, He did not deny us—nor the great task that was ahead of Him—to suffer and die for the sins of the world.
May all of us who call Jesus Lord and Savior, not bring any further reproach to His Holy name by our own behavior, or denial of Him, in every area of our life.