On the night before He was to be crucified, Jesus warned His disciples. Matthew 26:31-35 “Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.’ Peter answered and said to Him, ‘Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!’ And so said all the disciples.” Later, Jesus was betrayed by Judas and taken to the High Priest’s house where they sought to condemn Him to death. Peter had followed Jesus to the High Priest’s house. Matthew 26:69-75 “Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee.’ But he denied it before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you are saying.’ And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, ‘This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ But again he denied with an oath, ‘I do not know the Man!’ And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.’ Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the Man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So he went out and wept bitterly.” When Peter was safely with Jesus, he was very confident that he would not deny Him. But when he was at the High Priest’s house, he even denied knowing Him with an oath. Why did Peter deny that He knew Jesus? I suppose that he denied knowing Jesus because he was fearful that he would also be arrested and condemned with Jesus.
How would you do if your life was in danger if you admitted to being a Christian? Would you be ashamed of Jesus or readily confess your belief? Jesus previously said in Matthew 10:32-33 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Jesus also said in Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Peter had denied Jesus, but later repented. You do not want Jesus to be ashamed of you when He returns to receive His own.
The apostle Paul was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. He said in Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” When we speak to people in the world, you and I can be ashamed of the message about Christ and His plan of salvation. I encourage you not to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God to salvation. People in the world need to hear and obey the gospel.
Near the end of his live, the apostle Paul was in prison for preaching Jesus. He did not want Timothy to be ashamed of him or of the testimony of Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:8-12 “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” The apostle Paul was not ashamed. He was confident in his belief; he was fully persuaded that Jesus would keep His promises until the final Day. Whether we are ashamed of Jesus or not is a matter of faith. If we are fully persuaded about Jesus and His promises, we will live our lives being bold for Him.
There are times that we should be ashamed. We should be ashamed of our past life of sin. Romans 6:20-21 “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.” When a believer does not obey the words of Jesus or the writings of the apostles, the church is instructed to discipline him by not keeping company with him so that he may be ashamed. 2 Thessalonians 3:13-15 “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”
My encouragement to you is to strengthen your faith in Jesus. When you are with non-believers, do not be ashamed of Jesus or the message of the gospel but confess your believe. Be bold to stand up for what you believe.