Daily Devotional for March 24

March 24                                                         John 13:36-38


             An Inward Look


In today's Scripture, Peter stalwartly avows his loyalty to Jesus,
declaring that he will die for him if need be. Jesus predicts
that Peter will deny him three times before the cock crows.
And indeed, that's just the way it happened. Peter did deny
Jesus, and when the cock crowed, he realized what he had
done and went out and wept bitterly.


There is no doubt that Peter's intentions were good. He prob-
ably believed that he would die for Jesus. But Jesus had spent
three years with Peter. He had seen something that Peter did
not see in himself, a weakness that, at the moment of crisis,
would cause Peter to deny Jesus rather than die.


Like Peter, we can often be deluded about our inner faults and
weaknesses. Perhaps for Peter, fear was the motivation which
caused him to deny Jesus in the crisis. Or perhaps it was the
need to be a part of the crowd. Maybe it was a sense of
helplessness over his inability to prevent Jesus from being
arrested, or anger over being rebuked by Jesus for cutting off
the soldier's ear with a sword. Whatever the weakness, Jesus
seemed to have known in advance that it was there. But he
loved Peter anyway.


Fortunately, that is not the end of the story. Peter had plenty
of time for introspection during the days that followed the
crucifixion. And Jesus' love, during the days that followed the
wonder of the Resurrection, transformed Peter. Jesus had said
to Peter, "Satan demanded to have you, in order to sift you
like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not
fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers
and sisters." (Luke 22:31-32) When the strengthening of Peter
was completed, he became the leader of the early church, and
he was able to die for Jesus.


     Jesus, help me to take an inward look to be sure my
         faults do not sabotage my intentions. Amen
.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.

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