Thriving Under Pressure
The baby is crying. The kids are fighting. The telephone’s battery dies. The food is boiling over. You burn your finger on the pan—all within 15 seconds. Your unadorned, unwashed, and uncombed self blasts to the surface. You’re about to become a volcano. In Mark 14:53-72, you see how both Jesus and Peter responded under pressure.
Jesus thrived under pressure (verses 53, 55-65). After His arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus stood trial before the religious leaders of Israel. The trial was rigged. The religious leaders’ witnesses manufactured reasons to put Jesus to death (verse 55). They contradicted each other. Their lies flew thicker than snowflakes in a blizzard. Yet, Jesus didn’t defend Himself.
Jesus Christ is your intercessor and advocate before God. He’s by far the best lawyer in the universe. Nevertheless, He didn’t defend Himself. He submitted to the Father’s will. While the lies flew, He maintained majestic silence.
Then, Caiaphas asked Jesus if He claimed to be the Messiah. Jesus knew saying “yes” would be volunteering to climb onto the cross. Despite the consequences, He replied, “I am.” How do you usually respond when acknowledging that you’re a Christian would put you in uncomfortable territory?
Jesus accepted His suffering (verses 63-65). The hands of those He came to save beat Him almost beyond recognition. How did He respond? Peter tells us, “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23, NIV).
Jesus endured the maximum reading on the pressure meter. Yet, not the slightest flaw surfaced. He thrived under pressure because He was perfectly submitted to His Father.
Peter folded under pressure (verses 54, 66-72). When Jesus was arrested, Peter fled. He didn’t want to identify too closely with Jesus. Because of fear, he denied Jesus three times. Are you a secret follower of Jesus, a camouflaged Christian because of fear?
Peter folded because he leaned on human willpower. When Jesus predicted all the disciples would fall away, Peter said, “'Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you….” (Mark 14:31, NIV). Willpower is no substitute for the Holy Spirit’s power and control. Peter underestimated his own weakness. If you depend on your willpower to live for Christ, you’ll fail frequently. But you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).
Peter folded under pressure because he was careless and prayerless. I’ve been there. In Mark 14:38 Jesus warned Peter to watch and pray because of the weakness of the flesh. Peter didn’t do either. He wasn’t alert. He wasn’t depending on God’s strength.
Peter folded because he feared suffering (verses 68-71). The one who said that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God now said he didn’t even know Him. Jesus lives in you and gives you grace to go through pressure without folding. He thrives under pressure. Let Him thrive under pressure through you. #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources #freechristianleadershipresources
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