• You discovered a new island, what would you name it and why?
• A classmate asked you for the answer to a question during an exam while the teacher was not looking? Would you give them the answer?
• You were in the bank and somebody started to hold up the bank, what would you do? How would you react?
• You had only 48 hours to live, what would you do?
Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.
After having a feast with his disciples, Jesus takes them on a walk to the Mount of Olives. Along the way, Jesus tells them he will be captured by the end of the night. The disciples will then run away in fear, and deny any association with Christ. Shocked by this news, Peter pledges to die with Jesus if he has too; and he proves his readiness to die by drawing a sword and hacking off someone’s ear when confronted by the mob that would take Jesus away (John 18:10). Unfortunately for Peter, Jesus was right. Peter denied ever knowing Jesus and ran like the dickens when the rubber met the road. (Matt 26:69-75).
Perhaps you’ve read the same story agreeing with Peter. If you heard Jesus say he was going to be arrested and abandoned by his closest friends, you would promise to die with Him too. Only this time it would be different. You would confirm your alliance with Christ, stand your ground and not run like the coward Peter was at that moment.
The Gospel of Luke says Jesus came to fulfill everything that the Old Testament ever spoke of concerning a coming Messiah or Savior (Luke 24:44). The first century Jews were looking for a Savior that the Old Testament referred to, and Matthew wrote his gospel to show the Israelites that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah the Old Testament spoke of. So when Matthew wrote his Gospel, he mentioned things in Jesus’ life that matched the Old Testament prophecies which spoke of a coming Messiah or Savior. The disciples scattering at the time of Jesus’ arrest is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy proving Jesus to be the chosen one. The disciples abandoning Jesus was one of these fulfilled prophecies. So the likelihood of everyone deserting Jesus at this time is not only definite but certain.
I don’t know what your relationship with God is like today, but maybe this story is tugging at your heart. Maybe you find yourself in the same situation as Peter; feeling remorse for a stupid decision you made recently. If you do, let me say all hope is not lost. Three days after his crucifixion, Jesus rises from the dead and has a heart to heart talk with Peter during breakfast by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-17). After this, Peter’s hope was restored and his faith rekindled. Despite his many mistakes as a disciple, Peter became a great leader in the church. He even became a contributing author to the New Testament as he wrote 1 and 2 Peter. Being restored that morning near the Sea of Galilee, Peter had no idea how God was going to bless his life. All it took was a heart to heart conversation with Jesus. If you find yourself needing the same thing as Peter did, be encouraged to know that Jesus is waiting to hear from you.
Here I am waiting
Abide in me I pray
Here I am longing
Hide me in Your love
Bring me to my knees
May I know Jesus
More and more
Come live in me
All my life
Come breathe in me
I will rise
On eagle's wings