by Jeff Strite

This content is part of a series.

Rocky III - KO'd (3 of 4)
Series: Rocky
Jeff Strite
Luke 22:31-62

OPEN: Nearly 30 years ago on October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman squared off in the boxing ring in Zaire. Ali had dubbed it ''The Rumble in the Jungle.''

Foreman was heavily favored, and was considered to be the hardest puncher in heavyweight history. Foreman was fairly confident he could finish off this upstart braggart. And when he entered the ring, he intended to do all in his power to squash him.

Ali, however, did something in that fight that no other fighter had ever tried before. In a technique he called the ''rope-a-dope'' Mohammed Ali held up his arms against his face and leaned back against the ropes allowing Foreman to punch away at him for eight rounds. The strongest boxer (in the history of the sport) beat on Ali until he could punch no more.
When the right moment came, Ali bounced off the ropes and knocked out Foreman… sending him into retirement.

APPLY: George Foreman believed in himself. He was a confident boxer who delivered the hardest, most powerful blows of any pugilist that has ever fought in the ring.
And yet, he lost. And not only did he lose, he suffered a blow in the ring from which he never quite recovered. This fight literally sent him into retirement.

I. Two Thousand years ago, there was another confident man.
A fighter. A brute of a man - who feared nothing and no-one.
And if there was a conflict, you could count on him being there
… especially, if the conflict endangered his friends
… and especially if that friend happened to be Jesus Christ

His name was Peter, or Petros… People of the day might have called him ''Rocky,'' for that's what his name meant. And like his name, he WAS a rock:
A rock of loyalty and of courage, and strength.
A man who had decided to stand beside Jesus in the worst of situations

And, for the most part, Peter did stand beside Jesus.
His loyalty to Christ caused him to be a model of true faith and ...

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