Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Matthew 26:57-75


I am reading through Tom Wright's "Lent for Everyone" and there is this section on this passage that I love.

Peter - impetuous, blundering Peter - provides the mirror image to Jesus. Jesus tells the truth, knowing it will condemn him. Peter tells a lie to save his skin. The stage is set. Jesus, the innocent one, will die in place of Peter, the guilty. And the rest of us, too.

-Tom Wright, Lent for Everyone (London: SPCK, 2011), 131.

Isn't that insightful? This passage in Scripture contains this amazing contrast. Throughout Scripture we can see the theme of God's faithfulness to His people. Over and over again the people seem to stuff it up.

This is especially obvious in the book of Judges which uses the constant refrain: "again, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord". Reading Judges is like reading re-runs of the same episode of a show over and over. A good King rises up to lead, things go well for a few years and then they turn away from God and things fall apart. It is frustrating! But through this whole process God doesn't think "I have had enough of this, I'll give up" Rather it seems that God leans in, that he does something to call his people back to him.

In this passage in Matthew the faithfulness of Jesus over and against the unfaithfulness of Peter reduces him to tears. It ought to reduce us to tears as we also realize that like Peter we find it far more comfortable to follow Jesus at a distance. As we approach Easter may we realize the awesome faithfulness and love displayed in Jesus and gain the courage to follow.

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