Lent 2023 Day 5: Mon 27Feb
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.”
…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 cock 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.
It is indeed written – Jesus is quoting from the book of Zechariah (click/tap the link for the reference). Matthew the gospel-writer was keen to include Old Testament references to support his own approach to compiling a gospel aimed at Jewish readers.
Jesus tells his disciples that they’re going to run. Peter is not having it. He is not going to run, even if all the others do. This is a side of Peter that we probably all know about – impetuous, reactive, hot-headed. But he is also passionate, caring, considerate. We should not pigeon-hole him as the hothead alone.
Jesus responds to Peter’s declaration with firm but gentle prophetic words. “This very night …”. But Peter cannot believe that he would run. He even offers his life, and at this moment, he means what he is saying.
Later, when they were in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus took Peter with James and John (the thunder boys) to stand guard while Jesus went to pray. They fell asleep. They fell asleep again. Jesus did not even bother to wake them until he returned a third time.
Jesus is arrested. Peter and the gang flee.
What does Jesus need – passionate hotheads or cool thinkers?
Could you promise to follow Jesus through the storms of life?
Father God, I pray that you charge my flesh to match the willingness of my spirit, strength to stay the course, and boldness to stand in the face of opposition. Amen.