Monday 27 January 2014

Mark 14:53-72 - Jesus on trial

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Jesus is taken to the High Priest, and other religious leaders gather to take part in the questioning. Peter follows into the High Priest's courtyard, a bold action. Although he will soon deny that he knows Jesus, even coming this far is clear evidence of his intention of standing by the Master.

Although they're wanting the death penalty for Jesus, the Sanhedrin is stymied as it can find nothing against him. Even the false witnesses don't agree with one another. Finally, replying to a direct question from the Chief Priest, Jesus condemns himself in their eyes by pronouncing the Holy Name 'Yahweh'. The Hebrew words 'I am' sound similar to the name Yahweh, and the High Priest takes Jesus' words as sufficient evidence. Speaking the forbidden name, as well as claiming to be the Messiah and the Son of the Most High are more than enough.

He tears his robe, the specified response to hearing the name Yahweh spoken aloud. Jesus is condemned, insulted and beaten up.

It is at this point that Peter denies Jesus, and the cock crows again. He remembers what Jesus had said to him just a few hours before and he breaks down in shame and utter frustration.

As Jesus' followers, we may face the same sorts of hardships he did. But whether we face injustice or persecution or even death, we know he has experienced these things already. Think of the people of Syria during the last few years, pray for them in their dire need, and remember those who follow Isa (Jesus) and are suffering because of their faith. Pray for all the men, women and children who are suffering there, Christians, Muslims, Druze and others alike.

Jesus leads us in all things, including pain and suffering. And he is with us in all things. If we are to grow to be more and more like him we must also lead and encourage people in all things. In the end fear prevented Peter from keeping his word. Sometimes fear may also prevent us. But Jesus said that perfect love casts out fear. Perhaps we just need love that is more like his perfect love.

We can never fully emulate Jesus, we all fall short, but we can (and must) grow more and more like him day by day and year by year [Tweet it!]. We must grow in love, in compassion and gentleness, in faith and in steadfastly walking in truth and light. He is the Way.

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