19 September 2007Luke 22: 54-62
"Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, 'This man was also with him'. But he denied it, saying, 'Woman, I do not know him'". (v.54-56)
Jesus had had his last supper with his friends; they had prayed
in the Garden of Gethsemane; Jesus had been arrested, and it was
dawning on Peter and the others that perhaps the game was up. So,
"Peter followed at a distance".
Usually Peter was brash and confident. He was outspoken and impulsive. But he had the wind knocked out of his sails. This time.
It would be natural if, after all of this, Peter doubted that Jesus was really the chosen one of God. After all he had not joined Peter in resisting his arrest. Surely a cruel, criminal cross was not to be the end of all their hopes? The end of God in human form?
So when he was asked about his association with Jesus, he lied about knowing him. He was confused, disappointed and frightened.
Meanwhile, not far away, Jesus persisted in telling the truth about himself. No doubt he was sorrowful at the self-serving Jewish leadership; sorrowful at the lack of support from his disciples - but his faith in the truth of God was undiminished.
Have you ever been tempted to dodge telling the truth, when the heat was on?
If the values of God are those that change the world, why are we afraid to be totally committed to that way, even when the chips are down?