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Mark 244 - Distancing Ourselves



Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.


Mark 14:54


There are many things that we want information on. We want to “follow” the story. The person. The movement. We sign up for all sorts of things on purpose.


And then there are the things that we sign up for unintentionally. When we look at a page on any screen, if we click on a picture or a link, that little piece of information is captured, categorized, and communicated to anyone willing to pay for it. That’s why you get all those unexpected popups and emails.


I was looking for some reading glasses online. After 15 minutes, I was able to find a pair that looked good, so I bought them. For the next 45 days I was bombarded with popups, inserted adds, and emails about all sorts of offers from several different companies that sold glasses.


Peter wasn’t following Jesus because he had accepted a friend request or had connected with him through Zoom. No, Peter had lived with Jesus for more than 3 years. Peter had been invited by Jesus himself to follow him. To become a fisher of men. Peter had seen unbelievable miracles. Heard unbelievable words. And in return, Peter had promised to follow Jesus no matter what.


With all that baggage, Peter follows from afar. When Jesus is taken into a large house, he can’t get in. He didn’t have the passcode for the security gate. But his business partner and friend, John, knew the owner and got Peter in. He got in because he knew a guy that knew a guy.


he (John) went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple (John), who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.


John 18:15b,16


Peter was on the outside of the home, the place where other outsiders were. It must have been quite an interesting collection of guards and servants of all those important people.


It’s a good feeling to get in because someone important lets you in. It feels good to know someone with the “juice” to get you to where you normally couldn’t go.


One time I was riding The Tower of Terror in Walt Disney World with some friends. Actually, we were riding it over and over again. And in the process, I started talking with one of the Cast Members. On the third trip, I ran into him again at the end of the ride. He recognized me and waved. But his wave wasn’t one of hello, but more of a come over here wave. When we got over to him he said, “Follow me.”


He let us through a door that said, “Cast Members Only.” This led us behind the scene to a hidden elevator. It went up one level and we got our right where you board the ride! He spoke to another Cast Member, and we were taken right to the front of the line. We rode that next available ride screaming our heads off. Yes, there was the excitement of the ride, but the added excitement that someone had given us special permission. Treated us special, and we’d done nothing to deserve it.


That’s what happens to us with God. He invites us in. To follow him. To go where we don’t deserve to go. He opens doors for us. Not so much with a key, but with the authority and power of his word.


As God, he can open any door. Provide any need. Fight any battle. Defeat any enemy. Conquer any foe. He’s not stopped or restricted by anyone or anything. There is no price he cannot pay. No ransom he cannot afford.


But more importantly than all these wonderful things, he can forgive any sin. He can restore any brokenness, repair any break. No matter how bleak it looks to us, it’s no problem for God. There is no darkness he cannot light up, no gloom he cannot see through.


This is the God of the universe. The one who loves us. The one who came for us. The one who gave himself up for us. The one who dies for us. The one who would not stay dead but rose up from the grave for us.


This is our amazing God who will not be denied. He will not be stopped. He will not be deterred. He will not be slowed. He will not be detoured.


He will absolutely do what he wants to do. Using weak, broken, damaged, bruised people just like you and me. And through it all, he will shower us with his kindness, love, and affection.


We need to distance ourselves from trying to do it all ourselves. Shouldn’t we run to the God who loves us? Who saves us?


Isn’t this the kind of God that we so desperately want? Need?

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