Be Broken Image






You Have to Be Broken First

Then the Lord can build you into the man or woman of God that He wants you to be

Matthew 26.69–75

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • November 4, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2018


  1. Two Wednesdays ago, in my class on the Gospel According to Matthew,
    1. we came to the part where Peter denies knowing Christ
    2. after having affirmed hours earlier that he would never deny Jesus.
      1. Then class ended.
      2. I thought to myself
        1. that everything I wanted to say further on this subject
        2. would be better said in a sermon.
  2. What I want to show is about being broken in your spirit.


  1. Matthew 26.69–75
    1. On the night of His betrayal,
      1. Jesus told His disciples
      2. that all of them would stumble that night because of Him.
        1. Peter did not like what Jesus implied about him.
        2. Listen to what he said to Jesus,

          33 “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble” (Matthew 26.33).
    2. Jesus then directed Himself to Peter, and prophesied,

      34 “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Matthew 26.34).

      1. Peter denied emphatically that would ever happen,

        35 “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26.35).
    3. Peter thought that he knew himself.
      1. He thought that he knew himself so well,
      2. that he could predict the future about himself.
    4. Peter loved the Lord and
      1. was always ready to do what he believed
      2. to be the right thing for the Lord.
        1. He seemed to have a good heart.
        2. He was ready to volunteer to do what needed to be done.
    5. But then later that same night,
      1. things happened that he could not foresee,
      2. although the Lord had been telling Peter what was coming.
        1. Peter had his mind made up
        2. about how he thought things would go.
    6. After the Lord’s betrayal and arrest,
      1. Peter initially ran away, but
      2. came back, and followed Jesus and those who arrested Him,
        1. to the place where the Jews would put Jesus on trial.
        2. Peter followed closely, but not too close.
    7. Then Matthew showed us what happened next:

      69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.” 71 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.” 72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” 73 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.” 74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 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 (Matthew 26.69–75).

      1. Look at what Luke showed us of this same event.
      2. Luke showed what must have devastated the soul of Peter:

        61 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).

        1. The Lord’s look reminded Peter of his earlier promise.
        2. The Lord’s look also told Peter
          1. that the Lord knew what Peter had just done,
          2. although it may have appeared that Jesus was preoccupied.
    8. This broke Peter.
      1. Peter thought that he knew himself better than the Lord knew him.
      2. He learned that he was not the man that he thought he was.
        1. He thought that he had all the answers.
        2. He discovered that he did not and that the Lord does.
          1. He had thought highly of himself.
          2. Then he knew that he had let the Lord down,
            1. disappointing the Lord
            2. in a way that Peter never imagined that he could have done.
    9. The poor man was broken to pieces.
      1. He had seen himself as one of the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
      2. After this episode he came undone…he fell apart completely.
        1. All the pieces that make up a man
        2. had fallen apart in tiny pieces all over
          1. the floor of the courtyard and
          2. all over the ground on the way to place where he wept bitterly.
    10. How could he ever face the Lord again?
      1. How could he ever face anyone again?
      2. How could he look at himself in a mirror again?
        1. He who was the most prominent disciple of the Greatest Man ever,
        2. was suddenly left in tears of failure,
          1. wailing over his total failure.
          2. The man
            1. who bragged,
            2. who had all the answers,
            3. who was ready to fight,
              1. did not know what to do, but to cry.
              2. All the dreams that he had of service in the kingdom,
                1. he himself had just destroyed.
    11. Peter needed to see
      1. that though he had some good parts,
      2. he would never be the man of God that he could be,
        1. until he broke himself down,
        2. the Lord letting him do it.
          1. Then, with Peter emptied of himself,
          2. the Lord rebuilt a man who would forever change the world.
  2. Luke 15
    1. A man had two sons.
      1. The youngest one asked for his inheritance early.
      2. The father gave it, and to the older son also.
    2. Not too long after
      1. the youngest son left home and
      2. went to a place far away and
        1. wasted everything his father had given him,
        2. spending it on harlots, among other things.
    3. Then a famine hit that far away land.
      1. He spent everything that he had and
      2. was in desperate need.
        1. Jesus said what happened next:

          15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine (Luke 15.15).
        2. Even that was not helping him:

          16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything (Luke 15.16).
    4. The young man realized what he had done.
      1. He saw his current situation, perishing with hunger, and
      2. he remembered that his father’s servants were eating better than he was.
    5. He then made a decision which showed his brokenness:

      18 “I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants” (Luke 15.18–19).
    6. Then he headed for home.
  3. Acts 2.37
    1. Luke 23 shows the crucifixion of Christ and events surrounding it.
      1. After the Jewish crowds saw
        1. how the sun quit shinning for 3 hours,
        2. how the earth quaked, and
        3. the manner in which Jesus died,

          48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned (Luke 23.48).
      2. They began to realize what they had done.
    2. About 51 days later,
      1. Jews, including the ones who had instigated the crucifixion of Jesus,
      2. went to Jerusalem for their annual feast day called Pentecost.
    3. While there, the Lord baptized the apostles in the Holy Spirit.
      1. Then the apostles started preaching to their Jewish brethren.
      2. Peter took the opportunity to speak to the Jews who had killed Jesus.
    4. He persuaded them from the Book of Psalms
      1. that everything that happened,
      2. the Lord had foreseen and
        1. revealed it precisely.
        2. However, Peter drove home the point that they had killed Jesus.
    5. If you had killed not only an innocent man but the Son of God,
      1. how would that have affected you?
      2. Then you think about it for 50 days.
        1. After that one of that man’s disciples stands up and
        2. convicts you of having killed the Messiah who is the Lord!
    6. To those people it was as though Peter
      1. had driven a sword right through their hearts:

        37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2.37).
      2. They were broken.


  1. David became a broken man – Psalm 51
    1. This man could do virtually anything.
    2. He was a genius in at least 7 ways:
      1. music,
      2. knowledge,
      3. combat,
      4. poetry,
      5. faith,
      6. leadership, and
      7. family.
    3. Yet, he still sinned and
      1. at one time in his life
      2. he sinned in a big way.
        1. He committed adultery with a married woman and
        2. had her husband killed.
    4. When he realized what he had done,
      1. this bear/lion/giant killer became a broken man, and
      2. he wrote about his brokenness.
      3. First, listen to this multi-talented man beg for mercy:

        1 Have mercy upon me, O God,
        According to Your lovingkindness;
        According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
        Blot out my transgressions.
        2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
        And cleanse me from my sin.
        3 For I acknowledge my transgressions,
        And my sin is always before me.
        (Psalm 51.1–3)
    5. Listen to what he said further in the Psalm:

      7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
      Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
      8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
      That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
      (Psalm 51.7–8)
    6. He stated even clearer what God wants:

      16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
      You do not delight in burnt offering.
      17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
      A broken and a contrite heart—
      These, O God, You will not despise.
      (Psalm 51.16–17)
  2. This is what I have been showing you in this message today.
    1. We get filled with ourselves and
    2. that leads us to do some things that we would not normally do,
      1. such as Peter’s boasting of his loyalty or
      2. David’s acting as though he could take whatever he wanted.
        1. When they saw their utter failure,
        2. the experience broke them.
  3. Then they were ready for the Master
    1. to recreate them,
    2. to rebuild them,
    3. to make them into men of God, and
      1. God changed them forever and then
      2. they changed the world forever.
    4. Later, He worked with Peter,
      1. asking him three times whether he loved the Lord.
      2. Then Peter got the chance to show his love by preaching on Pentecost.
    5. The father in the parable of The Prodigal Son
      1. received his son graciously,
      2. restoring him fully into the family:

        22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry” (Luke 15.22–24).
    6. Peter did not leave those Jews on Pentecost hanging:

      38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2.38).
  4. Now, listen to the following passage very carefully:

    19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5.19–21).

    1. If you have committed any of those things, or
      1. anything like them—
      2. because the Bible is not going to list every possible sin—
        1. you have disqualified yourself from inheriting the kingdom of God,
        2. which is another way of saying, heaven.
    2. You are broken. You cannot enter heaven broken.
      1. Jesus died to fix you, to rebuild you, to make you born again.
      2. Romans 6

        3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6.3–4).

        1. You can be baptized into Christ.
        2. That takes place in the spirit.
          1. It is all because of Him.
          2. Broken people, people who have sinned,
            1. are so broken, they are dead.
            2. However, placing your faith in Jesus and
              1. letting someone baptize you,
              2. Jesus will give you a new life.