Reading: Luke 22:47-54
The evening was ending badly, very badly. The week began in triumph as Jesus rode a donkey into the city where thousands were shouting his praise. Now Jesus is about to face punishment for something he did not do. He was accused by the establishment to be a rebel, an agitator, an insurrectionist. And in today’s passage he is betrayed by one of his own by a rotten kiss—some kiss!
The scene played out on the Mount of Olives. The disciples were there when the angry mob came to take Jesus away. “Should we fight ‘em?” asked his followers. And he answered simply, “No more of this!”
Jesus tried to reason with his accusers but they would not have anything of it. Their minds were made up. They stole him away to the house of the high priest, the top man in the religious pecking order. Jesus was alone. All his disciples had peeled away from his side from the Mount of Olives to the high priest’s house.
And there was Peter, trying to be anonymous as he warmed himself by the fire, hoping to take in what was going to happen next. One of the servants noticed Peter’s face around the fire as the light revealed his identity. “You were with him!” she shouted. But he denied he was with or even knew Jesus. “Woman,” he barked, “I don’t know him!” The evening got worse. Peter got backed into a corner.
We get backed into corners. You are at work or at school and you want to fit in but you know you are a follower of Jesus. The eyes of the other employees or other students stare at you as you are asked why you live the way you do, or why you do not participate in ethically compromising situations. And you feel like Peter, on the edge of saying, “I don’t know him!”
If you have not faced the accusing question, “You know him, don’t you?” you will. The question for every one of us is how will we answer? “Oh, I’d answer better than Peter!” you exclaim. I hope you will. I pray you will. Standing up for your faith, naming the name of Jesus in tough situations, calls for a man or woman or boy or girl to face one of the most important acts in his or her discipleship—boldly stating that you know and are Christ’s.
By Scott Gibson