Theme of the Week: Roads to Easter
Bible Verse: But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. Matthew 26:35
Scripture Reading: Matthew 26:1-75
I suspect that I’m not alone in my intimate familiarity with the taste of my own size 10s. I’ve had my mouth full of toes more than I care to admit. The irony is that it mostly happens with the best of intentions.
Peter was no doubt sincere when he declared to Jesus that he would die before disowning Jesus. Picture the scene . . .
Jesus and the disciples had just shared the Passover meal in the upper room. Jesus has told them many things, both encouraging and alarming. He has shared with them a new covenant; the anticipation of the prophets was being realized. But he has told them that He is going away and that somehow, that is good for them. And then Jesus tells them that that very night, they would “all fall away on account of him.”
What a thing to say! To the men who had given up everything to follow Him, Jesus now tells them that they do not have the courage to stay with Him. Perhaps it sounded like a challenge. And Peter was never one to shrink from such a thing; his words are immortalized in the story and in most of our minds. We have perhaps thought the same, that we would rather die than disown Jesus. But maybe in our innermost thoughts, we are glad that we have never faced such a decision.
“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” But Peter didn’t know what was coming. His heart was in the right place. He wanted to stand and be faithful. To show Jesus just how much He meant to Peter.
We know how the rest of the story goes. Poor Peter can’t even stay awake, let alone stand by Jesus when the moment comes. He tried, but got it wrong.
The part of the story that amazes me is Jesus’s compassion for the brash man (men) who make claims of being strong and diligent. He knew their weakness and loved them anyway. They did all abandon Him. And Peter called down curses upon himself rather than admit he knew Jesus. And still, Jesus loved him and used him. That gives me hope. Jesus came for people like Peter, for people like me who want to stand straight but find their spine isn’t equal to the task. He came for you too.
Prayer: Jesus, are there times when I have not stood with or for you? Help me to see the times when I can say, “yes, I know him.” Give me the courage and the voice to speak up when I am asked about you.
Reflection: Have you had a Peter moment? A moment when your intentions were not met by your actions? Pray today for strength to be the follower of Jesus that He has called you to be.
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