Peter followed at a distance tells us all we need to know…

Jesus had told His disciples that He would go to Jerusalem and there be killed. He told them He would be raised the third day. They just didn’t hear Him and understand. It was beyond their ability to understand, even though they had witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus.

They just couldn’t think it would happen to Jesus. Wasn’t He going to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven? They had in their minds a kingdom where they would help rule and argued among themselves who would be the greatest.

They celebrated Passover together, like usual. But then He began to act really weird. He spoke of the bread being His body and the wine being His blood. What did THAT mean?

Then He got up from the table and took off His robe, filled a basin with water and knelt down in front of each one and began to wash their feet. This was a servant’s roll – not the teacher’s. They protested – especially Peter. He didn’t want Jesus washing his feet.

Was it pride? Was it shame? Was it humiliation? Probably all three. Jesus told Peter that if He didn’t wash his feet Peter would have no part of Him. Whoa! Peter definitely wanted to be part of Jesus.

He didn’t yet understand what that would mean.

They left to go to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus wanted to pray. He asked His disciples, including Peter who had boasted that he would follow Jesus to the death, to watch with Him. They fell asleep. He was in agony and sweated great drops of blood. They slept on…unaware. He prayed and cried loudly. They slept on.

Then the soldiers and Judas came to arrest Jesus. Startled from sleep, Peter drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant – acting out as we all would, angry, confused, uncertain. Jesus told him to put the sword away.

Jesus, bound, went with the soldiers. His disciples ran away. One was in such a hurry, he left his clothes behind and fled naked.

Peter, once his head cleared, followed at a distance. That was a problem.

That is a problem for us. We follow at a distance. We want to be identified with Jesus when all is well but when Jesus is mocked and ridiculed, we want to flee and hide. We follow at a distance.

The day has come for us to stop following at a distance. Jesus and Christians are being mocked and ridicules and harassed in our public square. Will we take a stand for Jesus and His Word? Or will we compromise?

This weekend is a good time to decide if you are all in or not. Jesus gave His all for you.

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