“Peter said to him, ‘Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.’
Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.’
‘No!’ Peter declared emphatically. ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!’ And all the others vowed the same.”
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As I said in Thursday’s One Year Bible post, sometimes God speaks a thing to you that is so specific, the fulfillment of it reawakens your awe and your awareness of His power and sovereignty. I have to believe that’s what happened to Peter later that night when, despite all his emphatic declarations otherwise, he did indeed deny Jesus three times. That renewed awe, the deep shame and regret he felt when he saw what they did to Jesus, and the subsequent joy he doubtless felt when the Lord forgave him, all transformed Peter. He was never the same after that.
Do you want that same transforming experience? Ask God for your own private revelation. Ask Him for a dream, or a vision, or a verse that jumps so strongly off the pages of your Bible that you know God is speaking to you about it. It may happen. But even if it doesn’t, we can all be transformed if we dive into—instead of glance at—the examples we have in Scripture of Jesus speaking events before they were fulfilled. Who but God can do that? And why, after having this revelation, would we ever question His word on anything?
“‘Go to the village ahead of you,” He told them, “and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt beside her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone questions you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away’” (Matthew 21:2-3).
—Fulfillment: “So the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them” (Matthew 21:6).
“So He sent two of His disciples and told them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jug of water will meet you. Follow him, and whichever house he enters, say to the owner, “The Teacher asks: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” And he will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there’” (Mark 14:13-15).
—Fulfillment: “So the two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there” (Matthew 14:16).
“Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for me. For the poor you have with you always; but you do not always have me. For when she poured this perfume upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her” (Matthew 26:11-13).
—Fulfillment: He was put to death, and we are still talking about this woman.
”And as they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.’ And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began to say unto him every one, ‘Is it I, Lord?’” (Matthew 26:21, 22).
—Fulfillment: “While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’” (Luke 22:47,48).
“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes” (Matthew 16:21).
—Fulfillment: Jesus did die in Jerusalem, and we have this proof of how the religious leaders treated him: “The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, ‘Prophesy! Who hit you?’ And they said many other insulting things to him” (Luke 22:63-65).
“‘The Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified’” (Matthew 26:2).
—Fulfillment: “It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Mark 15:26,27).
“‘You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified’” (Matthew 26:2).
—Fulfillment: Jesus was crucified during Passover.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. So when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken” (John 2:18-22).
—Fulfillment: “On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, ‘Sir, we remember, while he was still alive, how that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise”’” (Matthew 27:62,63). “He is not here; for he is risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:6)
“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and his disciples came to him to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down’” (Matthew 24:1,2).
—Fulfillment: In AD 70, Rome destroyed not only the temple, but all of Jerusalem as well.
“‘And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’” (Luke 21:24).
—Fulfillment: Israel was scattered when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, and the land was governed by Gentiles for two thousand years.
And on … and on … and on.