Good morning my students,
How do you feel when someone betrays you? It can be any kind of betrayal. Perhaps your best friend told someone one of your secrets. Maybe a person who has shown you some interest went out to see a movie with someone else. It could even be something your parents did that made you feel betrayed; perhaps your mom was telling your neighbour some of those embarressing baby stories. Or worse, maybe she was showing off those naked baby pictures again.
Betrayal causes a great deal of hurt that is hard for us to defend against because it happens unexpectantly. But how would you feel if you could see it coming; if you knew exactly what was going to happen? Would you still be able to hang with that bestfriend when you knew that he was about to betray you? Could you go to the movies or out for a meal without showing anger toward that person?
Then try to understand the place where Jesus was in this morning's reading. Consider how hard it would have been for him to calmly say those words of Matthew 26:34. Jesus knew what was about to happen and he had already forgiven Peter for it. He did not hold it against Peter as he showed him a great deal of compassion in this terrible moment. It does not mean the pain was any less for Jesus. This was Peter; it must have broken Jesus' heart. Yet, there he was with Peter, not yelling, not throwing him out but instead preparing him for what was about to take place.
Imagine the pain we cause. How many times in a day do we betray Jesus? We do not just betray with our words; we also betray in our actions and our thoughts. How many times have we betrayed Jesus by denying who he is to us by speaking words that do not honour him, by doing things that are contrary to his desire for us and by harbouring thoughts and emotions that do not belong to a follower of Jesus Christ? Have you ever felt ashamed of the name you bear, Christian? This is all betrayal and it hurts and Jesus knew it all before we did it.
The incredible thing is that he still deals with us with tenderness and compassion. He still forgives us. He still renews us. He still pursues us. But often shame keeps us from going to him. It is the reason Jesus saught out Peter on the beach to re-establish the relationship and Peter's purpose. He is doing the same for us. He does not wait for us to go to him, he comes to us. We can't allow shame to stand in the way of this relationship. We need to let it go and receive the forgiveness.
We need to do it now because later will be too late. Jesus told us that if we are ashamed of him in front of men then he will be ashamed of us in front of the Father and this will lead to eternal death. I really hope you don't want that. Take care of it today.
(Students need to taka few minutes and blog your reaction to this)