Friday- You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.
Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.
So there you have it. One lie, two lies, three lies. And then let’s throw a curse in there, too.
What’s fascinating with all that is going on with Peter is how the actions of Jesus and Peter are a case of opposites. Think about it.
Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asks God to take the cup of suffering away from him three times. But he will do what God wills.
Peter denies the man he calls, “Messiah,” three times.
Peter strikes out in violent attack. Jesus doesn’t raise a finger. Peter blurts out, “I don’t know the man!” Jesus remains silent.
Suddenly Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Three times…”
How does Mark know what flashed through Peter’s mind? Well, Peter is one of Mark’s key sources for his Gospel. Peter knows what flashes through his own mind. And Peter has indeed brought a curse down on himself. It’s not just lying. He is betraying his best friend.
This is the worst thing you can do. Turn your back on your best friend. Humiliating.
That’s what makes this all the more powerful. We are reading the beginning foundational history of the whole Christian movement, the Gospel of Mark. Peter, one of the key sources of the Gospel is also one of the key founders himself. Peter makes sure that every generation afterward gets to read about him at his absolute worst.
What leader wants to put his failure in the “Articles of Incorporation” to be read and read forever?
Betraying the one who means everything to him.
Having his arrogance and bluster be stamped out by his fear.
Peter is as bad Judas.
And that’s just what Jesus doesn’t need.
You see, just like Peter, Jesus is tired, Jesus is stressed out, and Jesus is all alone.
So, Judas betrays him.
The rest of his followers desert him. And now, the only one left, his best friend, the one whom Jesus has invested in more than any other, “Denied.”
Why does Peter allow these words to be written? Who casts themselves in such a horrible light?
Someone who knows something about forgiveness.
This isn’t the end of the story
But you will have to wait until next Sunday to find out how this story ends.
Why did those who wrote the Bible, especially those telling their own story, show so many key leaders messing up all the time, including themselves? What other sacred books do that? Trick question…