When the high priest sent the guards to arrest Jesus in the garden of gethsemane, we see Peter, more than anyone, stand up for Jesus.
He got so protective of his teacher, he literally cuts the ear off of one of the men who was trying to take Jesus (which Jesus heals).
This is the same Peter who was distressed in hearing Jesus say that He would die, and that someone would betray Him during the last supper. Peter tells Him, “even if I have to die with you, I will never leave you” (Matthew 26:35).
You can sense the love in Peter.
You can feel His loyalty.
He is willing to fight for Jesus, and would give His life to do so.
Peter shows us this in the garden… as they take Jesus.
So, what happened, Peter?
What happened to you after that?
Peter follows Jesus, who is being brought to the high priest, but he follows at a distance. It’s there, in the courtyard, that Peter first denies being a follower of Jesus, or even knowing Him. He does so two more times.
Our brave Peter decides He doesn’t want to be known or be associated with Jesus.
Peter, how do you go from defending Jesus against the guards who could put you in prison or kill you.. to just hours later, denying you even know Jesus at all?
What happened, Peter? Why the sudden, drastic change?
I suppose we will never know for sure.
But I do have some guesses.
Because I know what it’s like to become paralyzed by fear.
I know what it feels like to go from having such a strong faith in Jesus, to feeling completely overtaken by my circumstance.
To the point where it’s hard for me to say, “I’m with Jesus”.
I hate to admit it, but I get it.
Peter misplaced his confidence. He let fear be his driver. I’ve done this, too.
Sometimes following Christ is so scary that it’s easier to pretend like we don’t.
Sometimes our faith gets so shaken as we look at what “could happen” or when we feel threatened, that we no longer cling to it.
Oh, the sorrow Peter must have felt after the rooster crowd and Jesus looked him in the eyes, knowing he betrayed Him as Jesus said He would. I can’t even fathom.
The thing is, I don’t think Jesus was approaching the cross thinking, “what happened, Peter?”
I don’t think He was surprised or confused by Peter’s actions.. even though He was so betrayed by him.
Jesus knew Peter’s fear… and He had grace.
He also knew Peter’s future.
Even though Peter betrayed His savior, that wasn’t the end.
It’s Peter who is the first leader of the early Church. Which is why Jesus gave him the name Peter, which means “rock”.
It’s Peter who ultimately gets murdered for his faith.
It’s Peter who decides that Christ is absolutely worth fighting and dying for.
Jesus knew he’d get there.
He knew how His death and resurrection would change Peter to ultimately grow stronger in his faith.
Peter, I don’t know what happened. But I pray to have faith like you did at the end.
The kind of faith that isn’t void of fear…
But a faith that fear can’t break.
~The Unraveling Blog with Kelli Bachara