Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial
36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 13:36–38). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Betrayal
Nothing hurts as bad as betrayal. I'm sure that as bad as the whip, the crown of thorns, and the nails felt, they were probably not as painful as the broken heart Jesus had when his closest friends abandoned Him in His greatest hour of need. We typically do not believe in a hierarchy of sin, but most people would count betrayal as a level beyond the others. It cuts us to our core.
Betrayal happens in church and it happens in our families too. When it does it can paralyze us with anger, grief, fear, and disappointment that we may never get over. But Jesus shows us there is a way though even that. While we often think of Judas as the one who betrayed Jesus, the one who left the family of Christ altogether and was never restored, all of them were guilty of abandoning Christ. Peter even went so far as to leave all of Jesus's teachings behind and go right back to his fishing boat as if none of it had ever happened. It was there Jesus found him and called him back to serve in His family again.
There is no easy way to tell whether someone will be restored to your family after a betrayal. Regardless of how much grace you show them, they will always have the choice to say yes or no. Jesus does not show us how to make others do what we want. He shows us how to be free ourselves from the devastating impact of betrayal. He teaches us how to love those who would do us harm. Most of all, He reminds us again in His death that God, not our family or friends, is the true source of life and strength in our lives, and no one can take that from us. If we learn to lean on Him, take our hurt and pain to Him instead of trying to figure things out ourselves, God will make a way through the pain to a better future.
Reflection: What betrayals have your family faced? How can Christ's example on the cross and in His resurrection bring you comfort and healing?
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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