July 15, 2005

John 18:25-27

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.


At 5:59 p.m., Blogger Paul L said...

MAIN POINT: Actions speak louder than words. This story is so mundanely human -- a friend of the arrestee goes to the jailhouse to hang around and find out what's happening, gets outed as the perp's accomplice, and denies it -- that it wouldn't merit the telling if it weren't for Peter's earlier denial of Jesus' prediction of exactly what happened. It wasn't what he said that mattered; it's what he did in a pinch.

NEW LIGHT: I don't think I realized til now that Peter wasn't just identified as a friend of Jesus, but as the guy who cut off the soldier's ear (though is there some inconsistency with the soldier -- who I've always assumed was Roman -- being a relative to a slave of the high priest???). That makes his denial even more understandable, but also more tragic because he had a second chance to stand by his man and he blew it again. And again.

TRUTH: Yes, I'm sorry to say. More often than I'd like to admit, I've gotten gung ho behind something, some great idea, made a commitment, and then, when the going got hard, I bugged out. Or pulled punches. I don't know that I've ever let down a friend in the way Peter has, but I can't say with confidence that I wouldn't lie to save my own skin.

PROBLEMS: This is one of those passages where, instead of reading the Bible, the Bible is reading me. The first function of the Light is to show us our own sins, and this story does it for me.

And I wouldn't call it a problem, but more of an irony, that this is the guy who became the "rock", the foundation of the new church. In a way, this is the third part of the perennial salvation story: man meets God; man loves God; man denies God; God gets man back.

At 8:26 p.m., Blogger david said...

Welcome Paul. And thank you for your contribution.

And on another note I especially liked your comparison of FGC with an Anarchist Convention on your blog. I'll have to look up John Sayles sometime.

At 9:50 p.m., Blogger crystal said...

Hi Paul :-). Lots of good points here.


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