The Gospel of Mark - Chapter 14, v.53:
Jesus before the Council
They took Jesus to the high priest’s home where the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law had gathered. 54 Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and went right into the high priest’s courtyard. There he sat with the guards, warming himself by the fire. 55 Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus, so they could put him to death. . .
But they couldn’t find any. 56 Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other. 57 Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’” 59 But even then they didn’t get their stories straight! 60 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 63 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? 64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!” 65 Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. “Prophesy to us,” they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.
Peter Denies Jesus
66 Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by 67 and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.” 68 But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. 69 When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” 70 But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.” 71 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” 72 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.
About today's contributor . . . Dan lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two kids. He's a regular volunteer in the Riverkids nursery.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
I found it interesting how both Peter and Jesus did an about-face from the previous day's passage. I've known that Peter went from chest thumping bravery to cowardly denial, but I just noticed how Jesus went from asking God to "take this cup of suffering away from me" to answering the question of being the Messiah with a confident (and self-incriminating) "I am". That said, Peter's story is assuring to me. Growing up in the church, one passage that gave me anxiety was when Jesus said "whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." There have been a number of times where I didn't profess my faith despite having opportunities to do so--and this worried me. When I think about how Peter denied Jesus multiple times and was later redeemed, I'm reassured. It seems Jesus provides a model in overcoming fear and Peter makes giving into fear...not "good," but somehow...human? Does anyone else wish they could have seen the high priest tear his clothing to show his horror? Was it like Hulk Hogan or just a small piece? I hope the former.
What stood out to you? What does Peter's denial say to you?
= = = = = = = = == = = = = = =
Bible Reading Tips . . .
Start by asking God to interact with you
Ask for a fresh perspective
Expect to be challenged in your assumptions
Try imagining yourself in the story
Slow down and pay attention to your feelings, thoughts and reactions
When something bothers you, talk to God about it
Want to dig deeper in the Gospel of Mark? Check out this podcast from "the Bible for Normal People"