25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants 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?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a cock crowed.
Easter at Christmas: Contrasting Peter and Jesus
As I read through the commentary on the way to work, I was fighting sleep. My body has not been kind to me since I vigorously did did a Workout Kidz routine with the children and tried to stretch out my back. Finally last night I got some sleep. I am reminded each time how the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Those are words that Jesus spoke to Peter when he was falling asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane.
In this passage we see Peter finally fail to stand up in a time of trial at exactly the same time as Jesus is succeeding at standing up to interrogation. The two stories are intertwined to emphasize the contrast between Peter and his Lord. Peter is asked if he knows Jesus and Peter lacks the strength to stand up to a servant girl. Despite being struck, Jesus points out to Annas that the trial he is trying to conduct is illegal. He then forces a formal trial.
Jesus and Peter contrast our own strength from Jesus with our weakness in the flesh. When we are one with Christ we act like him and face bravely into the most difficult situations. However, when we try and protect ourselves we fall short. we deny our faith through our words and actions. Living in this way becomes a slippery slope and we sometimes talk about Christians backsliding.
Let’s look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Let us consider that he endured such shame. Let us think about he embraced humility and embodied strength. then let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out before us.
Physically I am weak. My body does not function as well as it used to. I do not have the natural capacities I once had. Please fill me with the strength that I need in order to cling to you.
- How does Peter fail?
- Why does Peter fail?
- How is Peter contrasted with Jesus?
- In what ways have you seen people fail like Peter?
- In what ways have you seen people stand firm like Jesus?