How might your “convenient abandonment” of Jesus withhold the gospel from those individuals most in need of discovering God’s love?
The third message in our series, On the Road to the Cross, continues our theme of reading the narrative of the passion of Jesus from the perspective of the minor characters encountered along the way.
Our message for this week reinforces our realization that while while their may be minor characters, no one plays an insignificant role within God’s story of salvation.
The third message of the series has us considering Matthew 26:69-75, which is often referred to as the denial of Peter. Our reading of this event, however, has us consider the greater consequence of peter’s denial. While Peter’s denial is certainly a refusal to honor Jesus, his failure to share the good news of Jesus Christ with his confronters, the first of which was a young servant-girl.
The role of this unidentified young girl is so easily missed upon our reading of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Consider the risk the young girl assumed by approaching Peter with a loaded question?! Somewhere along the way the young girl must have witnessed the teaching, preaching, or healing ministry of Jesus. She would have seen Peter with the mysterious and miraculous Messiah!
The scene was pretty tense. Peter was standing outside of Caiaphas’ house (in the courtyard) when the young servant-girl approached him. On just the other side of the wall, a judgement was being placed upon Jesus. Amid the chaos of the night, as elders and scribes gathered to try the man from nazareth, as soldiers huddled around fires, a young servant girl (who’s task was to open a door), approached a man with a bold claim: “You were with him!”
Peter does not let her finish…though. Peter was with Jesus when? When did she see him? What was she so desperate to hear from Peter that would have caused her to assume the risk of apply a claim to a unknown man in the midst of a very tense and chaotic environment.
The point? Peter does not only deny Jesus! Peter denies the young servant-girl access to the most amazing and liberating message of God’s love! Peter withholds the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ from the one individual present in the courtyard most desperately in need of hearing of God’s love for her!
How do you deny Jesus? But also, to whom do you deny access to the amazement of the love of God when you withhold the good news of Jesus Christ?
If you want to hear more, have a listen to this week’s message!
Note – This sermon series is influenced by Rob Burkhart’s recent publication, On the Road to the Cross: Experience Easter with Those who were There. The book is a great read during the Season of Lent. I fully recommend you add this book to your library!!