Even Rocks Can Crumble
It was Thursday evening in an upper room in Jerusalem. Jesus and his twelve disciples were gathered around a table to celebrate the Passover – or so they thought. The evening started off already being different with Jesus taking a servant’s place and washing the feet of all of His disciples. Following the foot washing, Jesus and the disciples broke bread together.
What Jesus said during the meal had the disciples all agitated. Jesus revealed that this was the last meal that He would eat with them. He also said that one would betray him and that all would desert him.
Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” ‘Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 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: 31-35)
At this point Judas had already sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver (see Lissa’s blog yesterday). He planned to betray Jesus that very night. But the others were oblivious to Judas’ scheme. The tension at the table was high as Jesus had dropped a few “bombs” on them. Leave it to Peter, the “Rock,” to speak up forcefully and say, “Even if these others abandon you, I will never do that, ever.” Bold words for the man who, would deny Jesus three times later that evening.
Peter called out
Can you imagine Peter at this moment? “The Rock” being called out in front of all of the disciples! Those words that came from Jesus had to be so painful. He knew that he loved Jesus and even was convinced that he would never ever turn his back on Jesus…
After the supper they ventured to the garden to pray. Jesus knew what was coming and told His disciples to watch and pray while He talked to the Father. Jesus was in anguish and as He was crying out with tears of blood, His men fell asleep. Not once, but three times Jesus had to wake them. Peter sure was kicking himself. STAY AWAKE.
When the torches approached with Judas at the lead, this was Peter’s time to shine. At this point Peter was all up in arms, ready to fight for his Jesus. He sprang into action with his sword and cut off the ear of the ear of one of the men who had come to arrest Jesus with Judas. However, Jesus again rebukes Peter. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus ordered. Peter is also put in his place. Once more Peter acts boldly to protect Jesus, and once again Jesus corrects him.
Jesus is arrested. His disciples have deserted Him. Just as He predicted.
What happened next shouldn’t surprise any of us because what Jesus predicts, comes true. Peter is distraught. He and John steal into the high priest’s courtyards, hoping to get a glimpse of Jesus (and also hoping to not be recognized). Then it happened…Peter denies Jesus.
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22: 54-62)
Peter, Peter, Peter. His intentions were good, but his execution was poor.
Peter meant what he said. There was no doubt about that, but when it came down to the moment that he himself might be arrested, he was overcome by fear. In the end, fear led Peter to deny even knowing Jesus. Can you imagine the darkness Peter felt after hearing the rooster crow? He had done it. He had denied Jesus not once, not twice, but three times.
I can relate to Peter so much. How many times do I say that I am stronger than I really am? I tend to dwell on every failure and flaw that I have, but here’s the good news for me – and for you…JESUS DOES NOT DWELL ON OUR FLAWS AND FAILURES. He knows what we have done and what we will do and loves us still.
I am going to do something that is probably not seen well in most bloggers’ eyes ( I do not consider myself a writer). I want to share the link to one of the most encouraging blog posts that I have read about Jesus and Peter – “Jesus Chooses and Uses Failures” by Jon Bloom. I want you to read and be encouraged and know that our Jesus knows and our Jesus loves – even though we have failed and denied Him like Peter.