Sermon Summary • Oct 15, 2017
Mark 14:53–72 (NIV) • Pastor Tim Tseng
Peter’s denial of Jesus reflects our struggle with the sin of rejecting “damaged goods.” Thank God that Jesus became “damaged goods” to heal and save us from this type of Pharisaism!
1 Our efforts to choose the highest rated school districts for our children reflects our society’s obsession with getting the best for ourselves. The shadow side of this drive for the best quality is the rejection of or refusal to see those who are damaged by our society. Thus, we seek to move into areas that do not have people on the lower economic scale – usually places where Blacks and Latinos live. We do this because we think it will help our kids achieve success. But we wind up reinforcing the idea that we should avoid the damaged such as unwed moms and high school drop outs. We teach our kids that that damaged people are not our responsibility, that we should not care for them.
2 Jesus was “damaged goods.” Peter knew Jesus was innocent. But because he had been arrested and convicted (albeit falsely), Peter wanted to avoid being identified as a disciple. The appearance of being a criminal, i.e, “damaged goods” was all it took for Peter to deny his Lord.
3 Peter’s Pharisaism was deeply rooted so that even after the resurrection and the Great Commission, he had a hard time fearing “damaged goods.” In Galatians 2:8-21, Peter’s flaws were on full display. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, was sharing a meal with Gentile believers. Peter joined them. But later, when Jewish Christians came, Peter separated himself from the Gentile Christians because he feared the negative criticism. Paul soundly condemned Peter for this hypocrisy. This shows us how difficult it is for us, by our own efforts, to change our Pharisaic tendency to deny “damaged goods.”
4 As we return to Mark 14, we hear the rooster crow. And Peter then realizes that Jesus had predicted correctly that he would deny his Lord. Peter then realized that it was himself, not Jesus, who was truly “damaged goods.” He wept and, I believe, he repented.
5 But that is the good news. The recognition that we are the “damaged goods” in God’s eyes is the first step to conversion and transformation. It leads to repentance, God’s forgiveness, and a desire to change. And it is at this point that God’s salvation can be fully realized in us. It is at this point that we can become good soil for fruitfulness. Let us remember that:
22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. — Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)