Saturday, March 22, 2014

Third Sunday in Lent: One of Those Days....

John 18:1-27

Did you ever have one of those days, when no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to do anything right?

Peter was having one of those days.
No matter how hard he tries, he can’t do anything Jesus wants that day.

  • Jesus washing the disciples feet
  • Jesus talks about going away and:  John 13:36-38   Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward." Peter said to him, "Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."  Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.

No matter how hard he tries, Peter just cannot do anything right.
Now they are in the garden.  He’s still smarting from Jesus’ prediction of his denial, when Judas - that traitor! - shows up with temple guards, and some Roman soldiers. First it seems to go ok - Jesus says “I am” and all the guards fall down. Jesus has it under control.
But when they get back up, Jesus says, OK take me, just let these guys go.

The disciples flee -except Peter.  He’s the loyalest of the disciples.  That’s Peter, the rock, loyal to the end.

Here is Peter’s chance - There’s no way he’s leaving Jesus. He grabs a sword to protect Jesus from arrest – deny you? Ha! I’ll go to my death defending you.
And Jesus scolds him - This is what has to happen.  This is God’s will for me.  
He can’t do anything right.

Then he gets to the gate and the other disciple get him in, until the gatekeeper says, “Wait a minute…”
Peter wants to be with Jesus every step of the way. If he says he’s a disciple, maybe she won’t let him in. It’s a little thing – No, not me – better that than to abandon Jesus. Beside, saying he’s not a disciple isn't the same as saying he doesn't know Jesus.

Once in the courtyard, listening to the trial and the talk around him, he gets really afraid. He just has to be there with Jesus, and he doesn't want the other to kick him out. Next think he knows , the rooster is crowing and he’s abandoned Jesus in the worst way- by denying he even knows him.

Peter is having a bad day.  
We've all been there.  

But Jesus never abandons Peter.   In the courtyard of the high priest, Jesus ‘go ask those who I have taught, they will tell you everything.'
While the most loyal disciple has  denied him.

But Jesus stays faithful to the end, he never abandons Peter - faithful unto death, and resurrection, goes out of his way to restore Peter to relationship.
John 10:14  14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,  - Jesus saying to the high priest to ask his followers, even as Peter denies him. But Jesus knows what is in Peter, knows his heart.

He knows that even though Peter fails now, Peter is going to go on and do exactly what Jesus told the high priest - to tell what Jesus said and did.

There’s gonna be a day after the resurrection - where Peter  - full of resurrection hope and the holy Spirit - when he preaches.

Jesus knows this .  And knowing, he loves to the end and beyond to resurrection.Right now,  Jesus is doing what he came to do - John 13:1  Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.   - the passion begins with these words at the beginning of the Supper

During Lent, we come to terms with who we are.  We may feel - if you only knew me.  I’m not who you think I am.  And I don’t want you to know who I really am.

During Lent, we come to realized that we are not who we thought we are.

And we discover that God knows exactly who we are, God loves us just as we are - to the end.

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