Sometimes even our best friends can leave us at the time of our deepest need.
Quick choices may be made on the spare of the moment, and then later regretted.
All of the disciples were dogmatic about their allegiance to Christ. They had been with Him for three years, had listened to His words of wisdom, and had even heard counsel that Jesus received from His Father.
Peter was one of the three close disciples of Jesus. At one time Peter declared, “Lord…I will lay down my life for Your sake…” Jesus answered, “Will you…? Most assuredly I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times…” Peter said, “Even if I have to die with you I will not deny you!” ‘And so said all the disciples’ (John 13:37:38, 26:25, NKJV). This statement from Jesus must have been astounding to all of them.
We fast forward now to Jesus with His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane outside of Jerusalem. Jesus separated Himself from nine of the disciples and went farther into the Garden with those close to Him. Jesus left the three to pray while He walked farther in among the gnarled old Olive trees. He agonized in prayer concerning the events of His steps to the cross. He came back to the three and found them sleeping instead of praying. Jesus rebukes Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:40-41).
The rest of the story is told: Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of His own. A great multitude with sword and clubs, along with some soldiers came to arrest Him. Fearful of what was happening, Jesus’ own disciples fled the scene. Peter followed Jesus at a distance along with the crowd into the high priest’s courtyard where they took Jesus. After Peter was accused three times by people in the courtyard of being one of Jesus’ followers, he got so upset that he cursed and denied, “I do not know the man!” Immediately, the predicted rooster crowed. He remembered what Jesus had said, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Matthew 26:75).
Peter had been so confident of His statement to Christ, that he couldn’t believe he could ever betray Him, but here he was doing just what he said he wouldn’t do. I wondered if this outcome would have been different if he had prayed with Jesus in the Garden instead of slept. Would it have made a difference? Peter learned a glaring lesson. After Jesus’ resurrection, the upper room changed his character. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Florence Simmons, author and web host guides her readers to make right and wise choices. Visit her website, www.common-sensewisdom.com, or contact her at email@example.com.