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Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus!

 

  Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
  Look full in His wonderful face,
  And the things of earth will   

       grow strangely dim.
  In the light of His glory and grace.
         Helen Lemmel, 1918.
     He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope are in God.  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart. I Peter1:20-22.
         The author of these words in God’s Word is Impetuous Peter. The disciple who impulsively spoke and acted before he thought through his choices.  He moved from fear to confidence, from discouragement to determination, and from fear to faith.  He was transformed in Jesus.
         Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. You shall be called Cephas.” (Meaning Peter). John 1:42.  And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  Matthew 16:17-18.
         Jesus knew who Peter is, and had the power to change him, even as He has the power to change us when we believe He is the Son of God. 
         As Jesus walked toward the disciples on the water, our impulsive Peter wanted to walk with Jesus.  And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So, Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”  Matthew 14:28-30.
         As they got into the boat, the wind stopped, and those in the boat worshipped him, Truly, you are the Son of God. 
          And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them, and His clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.  And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.  And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified.  Mark 9:2-6.
         Have you ever just talked because you were afraid? Wouldn’t you have loved to hear Jesus’ visit with Elijah and Moses?  Then they heard a voice coming from a cloud that surrounded them. “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.”
         Then came time to make ready for the Passover.  As they were together and sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
         “You will all fall away 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 am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”  Matthew 26:31-33. 
         Peter is speaking too fast again.   Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”  Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.  Matthew 26:34-35. 
         Jesus took Peter and two more disciples to go watch with Him, as He prayed, these disciples fell asleep.  And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41.
         Then came the denial.  Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.”  But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.”  And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again, he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too, are one of them, for your accent betrays you.”  Matthew 26:69-73. Then the rooster crowed, and Peter remembered.
         What changed Peter?  What made the difference in Peter’s life?  When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4.
         Then Peter preached Christ.  “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know — this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.” Acts 2:22:24. Three thousand souls heard, believed, and were baptized.
     What made the difference?   The gift of the Holy Spirit transformed Peter.  Peter, sensitive to the Holy Spirit, received the wisdom of what to say and what to do’
         “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” John 14:25-27a.

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