Explore the Bible Study: Loyal?

12:35 PM

Would you say most people are loyal today? You might respond by saying, "it depends on the circumstances." Being loyal is something man has struggled with for ages. It was loyalty to God, or the lack thereof, that led Adam and Eve to sin. They simply didn't want to be loyal to the One who created them, placed them in a perfect place, and gave them a perfect relationship with Him and each other. They wanted what they wanted; therefore, they didn't remain loyal. LifeWay's Explore the Bible Study: Loyal? focuses on the loyalty of three individuals - Jesus, the high priest of the Sanhedrin, and Simon Peter.

I have expanded the passages in this week's study to include Matthew 26:57-75 in order to capture the complete context of the narrative. Since our TARGET for this session is on the fact that following Jesus demands loyalty, I have used the passages to compare the loyalty of Jesus, the high priest, and Peter, emphasizing the following:
  1.  Jesus was loyal to God, the Scriptures, and His mission as the Son. - Matthew 26:57-64
  2.  The high priests would only give loyalty to a Messiah who met their own preconceived conditions. - Matthew 26:65-68
  3.  Peter failed to be loyal, was repentant, and was restored by Jesus. - Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:15-25
The following quotes are included in the teaching ideas. They are all from MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Matthew.
  • To Emphasize Matthew 26:63 - “Jesus stood majestically silent. It was the silence of innocence, the silence of dignity, the silence of integrity, the silence of infinite trust in His Heavenly Father.”
  • The High Priests' Response in Matthew 26:65-68 - “They had closed their minds to the truth, and no amount of evidence would open their eyes to it. Like many people throughout the ages who have rejected Christ, it was not that they had carefully examined the evidence about Him and found it to be untrue or unconvincing but that they refused to consider the evidence at all.”
  • To Describe Peter's Failure in Matthew 26:69-75 - "In all the history of redemption, few saints have fallen to the depths of sin and unfaithfulness that Peter did in denying Jesus. Yet few saints have been so powerfully used by God as Peter was after he repented and was restored. The account of his denial is a sobering testimony to the weakness of the flesh, but it is also an encouraging testimony to the power of God's grace. Even in the extremity of His children's sin, the Lord is there to forgive and to restore."

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