And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, "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." 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. — Mt 26:30-35
There's being something going around the internet, called a CV of failure. Essentially, it's a Princeton professor who, instead of listing all his accomplishments, has create a resume of his failures: the schools that rejected him, the grants he didn't get, the jobs he was turn away from, the research projects that bombed. I think it's so popular because failure is generally too vulnerable a topic for us to talk about. We have an insatiable need to show our successes and prove ourselves, and conversely, a intense desire to hide what our failure-- and our sin.
The thing about hiding sin, however, is that the One we can't hide it from is Jesus. Imagine, the disciples have just had their feet washed by Jesus-- the most humbling experience, to be sure-- and now Jesus is saying, "I still see you and your hearts, and I know that you're going to deny ever knowing me". Like we've seen before, I'm not sure the disciples usually know what is exactly happening in real time, or even what Jesus is saying to them. I feel like this had to be one of those instances. He's telling them that He knows them better than they know themselves, and yet they still don't believe it. They confidently said "even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!" They couldn't fathom what would transpire over the next several days.
But the message I want to tease out is the truth that Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. He sees the timidity and fear that will overtake Peter; he sees the lack of faith in his heart, even when he can't see it in himself. Peter boldly says he will never deny Jesus, and yet Jesus knows. We cannot hide our hearts from Jesus. I have been quite taken with how often, when people come to Jesus, He speaks first. And he speaks directly to their need or question or desire, even before they can voice it. It's because he knows us. He sees the CV of Failure that's written across our hearts, with the list of things so awful and terrible we can scarcely even admit them to ourselves.
But there is hope for us. Abundant hope for the greatest sin in me and you to be redeemed by Jesus. It's nothing we can do to earn or deserve. It's only by God's exceeding graciousness that we are able to be forgiven. Jesus' perfect sacrifice was the only thing that could ever counteract our CV of Sin, and God's great love is the one kind that could ever make such a great sacrifice. Jesus sees our sin. He sees our heart more than we see it. And he still loves us. In return, our response of obedience is truly a humble thrill-- an eternal opportunity to obey and worship a God so great that he loves us in spite of ourselves.
I have been thinking about what it means to seek God's will a lot recently. It's a scary thing. What if God's will is not what I want or think my future should look like? What if it seems unfair? But if we truly believe we serve a God who knows us better than we know ourselves, His will should be what we seek, all we seek, because He truly is better than we could ever imagine. Lord, I believe; help me in my unbelief.
Dear God, You do love us with an exceedingly gracious love that is willing to see our sin through the sacrifice of your sinless Son. Let us trust that you know us better than we know ourselves, and seek to live into your will, and not our own. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Dig Deeper: Do you live as though you really believe Jesus knows you better than you know yourself?