Friday, May 13, 2011

Wednesday's Word-OH, NO! That guy KNOWS me!

I wish I could blame the slight delay in posting this on the fact that Blogger was down for about two days, but the truth is, I've been sick...and busy. So, Wednesday's Word is comin' atcha today, Friday!

I want to keep going on this interaction between Peter and Jesus. So, remember last week how Jesus told Peter he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed? Yeah? Well, then Peter told Jesus, "...even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And, here we are. This week's "word" can be found in ALL FOUR GOSPELS (Matt 26, Mk 14, Lk 22, and Jn 18).

Jesus is now being questioned by the High Priest (at the H.P's HOUSE). This "other" disciple followed Jesus to the High Priest's house alongside Peter. These two "followed at a distance," but this "other" (unnamed) disciple went right into the courtyard while Peter waited at the entrance. This other disciple came and talked the girl at the gate (a female Bouncer?) into letting Peter in as well. They're now sitting by the fire with servants and officials of the High Priest.

DENIAL #1: This servant girl carefully studies Peter and finally says, "You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus." Peter's reply? "I don't know or understand what you are talking about." (Mk 14: 67, 68) Then he got up and left the courtyard. He went back to the entryway. WHY? He makes up TWO lies: I don't KNOW what you're talking about and I don't UNDERSTAND what you're talking about. Then he bails on the conversation? Peter went somewhere where he could be less conspicuous, a place where there were more people around where he could just fade into the crowd, and where he could make a quick getaway if need be. What happened to the bold Peter who was so bent on proving his allegiance to Jesus that he cut Malchus's ear off?!

DENIAL #2: Here, Peter's at the gateway where another girl saw him and said, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." (Matt 26: 71) Peter denied this claim again! This time with an OATH! "I don't know the man!" Remember, Jesus, all the while, is being questioned by the high priest and is not denying anything...even though all these lies were being fired His way. Meanwhile, Peter is denying ALL these true things so he can save his own skin.

DENIAL #3: THIS time, a servant of the High Priest comes up to him. This servant was the brother of Malchus (the guy whose ear Peter cut off). This guy would have been CERTAIN of who Peter was! An HOUR has now passed. This man says, "Certainly this fellow was with Him, for he is a Galilean." (Galileans had a distinguishable accent...think Boston.) At this point, Peter's stressed out. "He began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them 'I DON'T KNOW THIS MAN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!'"

Cue rooster.
"The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter." (Lk 22:60)
Eyes locked.
Peter remembers...
"Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." (Lk 22: 34)

I can't even imagine the intensity of that moment. Peter's heart must have just been POUNDING! This guy KNOWS me! He KNOWS I know Jesus! I'm as good as dead! And then, in the middle of all the noise, the questioning, the rooster crows. This must have been going in slow motion for him. That sort of slow motion where you can hear your own heartbeat in your ear. It all came back. ALL these conversations he'd had with Jesus...and he lost it.

"He went outside and wept bitterly." (Matt 26: 75)

I kind of think of relationships we might have with friends or family. You know, the relationships that seem "unfixable." Someone has betrayed you or hurt you beyond something that can be humanly restorable. How could Peter claim that he'd DIE for Jesus on the same day that he DENIED Him THREE TIMES?!

Next week, we're going to talk about restored relationships. There's hope! Have a great week!

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