"Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself." Matthew 26:74-27:5
God has a lot of big ideas. I guess that is one reason He's God. And, it is why you're not!
As Christ-followers it is our responsibility to get our minds and hearts around those life-changing concepts and let the mold our spirits.
One of those big ideas that doesn't get much air time anymore is repentance. I have been studying and meditating on it (and doing it) this week for my message on repentance. If you don't understand repentance you won't be able to get many of God's other big ideas.
While I was out walking my dog this morning the Spirit quickened my mind about the difference between repentance and regret. The classic examples are Peter and Judas. Both had regrets but only one repented while the other is still having regrets.
Let's examine this a little closer:
1) Both were disciples of Jesus
2) Both denied Him at critical times
3) Both did it to their own advantage
4) Both realized their mistakes and felt deep regret
5) But Peter humbled himself while Judas hung himself.
Repentance is all about humility. Regret is often about pride.
Both were proud men, why did they have such different responses to their failures?
Let me offer an idea and you do some searching of your own.
Peter understood who Jesus really was. It was Peter who declared that Jesus was the "Son of the Living God". Jesus commended him for this insight. When you know Who Jesus is then you also know who you are - and aren't.
Judas misunderstood who Jesus really was. He wanted Jesus to set up His Kingdom on earth by overthrowing Roman oppression and restoring Jerusalem. He was basically following Jesus for selfish ambition. Once he realized Jesus wasn't Who he wanted Him to be he looked for another deal.
Because Peter understood Who Jesus was, he wanted to save faith after he had failed.
Because Judas didn't know Who Jesus was, he wanted to save face after his failure.
Repentance is the response of someone who really gets the big idea of who Jesus is! Living in remorse and surrendering to regret isn't.
I guess the question this morning is, "Will you be Peter or will you be Judas?"