Ikuro Teshima

Decisive Turning Point of Losing One's Ego

The Lord Jesus was about to be crucified and was treated horribly at the high priest's house. Worried about how the trial would unfold, Peter snuck into the courtyard. Then a servant girl and some men said, "You are a disciple of Jesus, aren't you?" Peter denied this, saying, "That's absurd; I am not!" Just as he denied, the rooster crowed three times. At that moment, the Lord Jesus found beloved Peter standing there through the window, and gazed at him.

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
(Luke 22: 61-62 NKJV)

Peter had said, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You" (Matt. 26:35)! and yet he ran away at Gethsemane. He not only fled. While everyone treated the Lord Jesus horribly, Peter denied his Lord three times.

The Lord Jesus gazed at this Peter. At that moment, Peter's stubborn ego crumbled to pieces. Oh, the silent gaze of the Lord Jesus, His loving eyes! Forgetting even the sufferings of His own impending death, the Lord Jesus gazed at him with loving eyes. This moment is the most beautiful scene of love in all the Gospels.

"Ah…, I have done something terrible," Peter lamented. After realizing his dreadful sin, Peter's heart was torn; he became distressed and could no longer look up to the Lord's face. All Peter could do was to flee in the dark night and just weep bitterly. "The Messiah, all my hope—I denied Him—if the Lord dies, I will be in despair," felt Peter.

Peter's true repentance finally began at this moment. The Lord Jesus attentively loved and guided Peter for three years. Now the Lord was beaten before his eyes and subjected to a cruel religious trial. Once Peter saw this, his dreams, hopes, and even bright future all disappeared; he was utterly stunned. Until then, his ego had been preserved, and he did not face an impasse to the end. Therefore he could still manage to maintain himself. Now, however, like a crab whose legs have been plucked off and is left frothing, Peter desperately cried, "God, I am helpless!" Exhausting his strength, he found himself nothing and was despondent.

We can never experience drastic conversion because we have too much self and arrogance. We are not aware of our limitations. As the apostle Paul said, "For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor. 12:10). We are truly weak and miserable. As long as we are unaware that we are powerless and cannot live apart from Christ, we cannot attain a decisive conversion. While we are successful and boastful in this world, we cannot easily reach the height of faith.

(1969)

*Click here to "From Simon to Peter (1)"
*Click here to "From Simon to Peter (2)"