June 14 - Betrayal

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14 – Betrayal

Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

“You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”

It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself. (John 18:15-18)

Read this passage again.  The ‘other disciple’ has always been assumed to be John.  Do you notice that he was probably standing there when Peter denied being a disciple of Jesus?  John had made an effort to get Peter into the high priest’s courtyard so they would be able to watch what was happening to Jesus.  Maybe he thought they might be able to do something about it.

Can you imagine the shock that went through his system when Peter denied having a relationship with Jesus?  It would have been all over his face and Peter would have seen that look of shock.

The thing of it is – though there was shock, there was no condemnation coming from John’s mouth.  He didn’t hit Peter on the arm and force him to admit that he knew Jesus, he didn’t call him names or berate him for his actions.  None of that happened.  John said nothing to betray his friend’s fear.

Jesus had already prepared them for this moment of betrayal.  And while John was probably quite shocked that it actually happened, he knew that the man they were certain was the Messiah was aware of it before it occurred.

We’re awfully quick these days to condemn someone for a sin.  We like calling them out and bringing their lives into the open so that we can ridicule them, gossip about them and act shocked by their behavior.

The world around us is not a safe place – and with that knowledge, repentance and renewal don’t come easy.  We know that Jesus pulls Peter back into the fold.  Would it have been possible if John had made a scene that night in the high priest’s courtyard?