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Breaking Bad - Out of Control

By: Admin on November 21, 2013

At Waverley we are going through a series of messages looking at different people in the Bible who were "Breaking Bad", just like Walter White of the hit TV series of the same name. (

It’s all about control: we want control. We like to think we’re in control and have absolute authority in our lives. Is that reality?

Peter as a follower of Jesus, one of the 12 disciples who were with Jesus from the beginning of his work on the earth. He was a fisherman from Galilee, friends and possibly business partners with James and John. He is characterized as a strong man with a big mouth and wanted control.

Let’s take a look at what could easily be described as the turning point of Peter’s life.

John 13:31-35
When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus establishes “control” by giving us:
1. Identity and Purpose (vv. 31- 33)
- Jesus and God are the focus, they are both glorified, they are the purpose for our existence
- They receive the honour, thanks and attention
- Being God, Jesus can rightly be the one with authority and control
- Jesus will soon be “gone” - the physical presence will be gone
- Jesus going to Heaven to take his place as king over everything - sign of him being King
- Jesus leaving the Holy Spirit, so we can do our work and have all the resources we need to do it. SEE John 14

2. A Task (vv. 34, 35)
- love one another, just like Jesus has loved us
- God’s economy is different than ours
- Those on “top” are the servants of all
- Those who lead must serve
- Those who lose it all will gain everything - Just as Jesus became poor for our sakes that we might become rich
- This is the “debt” we owe, not to God, but to one another, because we never had love to start with, God doesn’t need it because he gave it to us to give to others
- in this way everyone will know we are true followers of Jesus

This is where Peter comes in:

John 13:35 - 37
36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”

37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

Peter thought he was the number one guy with Jesus.
- He asked Jesus where He was going, like he was going to just follow along but Jesus had already said in verse 33 that they weren’t going there. This was not good enough for Peter - he was out to prove a point, as much to himself as to anyone else, as we see in verse 37. He thought he was Jesus’ best friend and boasted that he would even take a bullet for his leader.

Here is what Jesus’ biographer Luke describes of that same scene:

Luke 22:31 - 34
31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”
34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

Jesus knew differently and warned the control freak that things would go in a completely different direction...and they did.

1. We have no control
• Luke 22:31 – Jesus said that Satan himself wanted control of this situation. He wanted to deal with Peter just like a baker would sift wheat
• There is a purpose in all things that happen in our lives, even Satan is permitted to enter and take control in our lives

2. Jesus takes control so we continue with our purpose
• Luke 22:32 Jesus promised he would pray, that he would go to bat on Peter’s behalf
• Jesus’ concern was not the actions or words of Peter, rather for Peter’s faith
• Jesus promises the restoration
• Jesus gives us our task to complete: strengthen your brothers

Peter lost control and became part of the plan to put Jesus to death.

On the other side of Jesus' death and resurrection we see Jesus' character, love, mercy and patience jump out. Jesus takes the weak and the wounded and strengthens them to become those who will strengthen others in need.

John 21:15 – 19
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of deathby which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

Peter went on to follow the purpose God had laid out for him.

So, when we break out of control, will we come back to Jesus when he invites us in?

Topics: grace, jesus, message series

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