Lent Devotional Day 39

Day 39
Saturday, April 1

John 18:1-28

1 After he said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples and crossed over to the other side of the Kidron Valley. He and his disciples entered a garden there. 2 Judas, his betrayer, also knew the place because Jesus often gathered there with his disciples. 3 Judas brought a company of soldiers[a] and some guards from the chief priests and Pharisees. They came there carrying lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus knew everything that was to happen to him, so he went out and asked, “Who are you looking for?”

5 They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

He said to them, “I Am.”[b] (Judas, his betrayer, was standing with them.) 6 When he said, “I Am,” they shrank back and fell to the ground. 7 He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

They said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

8 Jesus answered, “I told you, ‘I Am.’[c] If you are looking for me, then let these people go.” 9 This was so that the word he had spoken might be fulfilled: “I didn’t lose anyone of those whom you gave me.”

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the guards from the Jewish leaders took Jesus into custody. They bound him 13 and led him first to Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. (14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it was better for one person to die for the people.)

Peter denies Jesus

15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Because this other disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. 16 However, Peter stood outside near the gate. Then the other disciple (the one known to the high priest) came out and spoke to the woman stationed at the gate, and she brought Peter in. 17 The servant woman stationed at the gate asked Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”

“I’m not,” he replied. 18 The servants and the guards had made a fire because it was cold. They were standing around it, warming themselves. Peter joined them there, standing by the fire and warming himself.

Jesus testifies

19 Meanwhile, the chief priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly to the world. I’ve always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews gather. I’ve said nothing in private. 21 Why ask me? Ask those who heard what I told them. They know what I said.”

22 After Jesus spoke, one of the guards standing there slapped Jesus in the face. “Is that how you would answer the high priest?” he asked.

23 Jesus replied, “If I speak wrongly, testify about what was wrong. But if I speak correctly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter denies Jesus again

25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing with the guards, warming himself. They asked, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?”

Peter denied it, saying, “I’m not.”

26 A servant of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said to him, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

Trial before Pilate

28 The Jewish leaders led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace.[d] It was early in the morning. So that they could eat the Passover, the Jewish leaders wouldn’t enter the palace; entering the palace would have made them ritually impure.

When Peter was asked if he was a follower of Jesus he said no. He did this three times, denying Jesus for the opinions of the people he was surrounded by.

There have been times in my life when I too have denied God, be it for fear of someone’s opinion of me, or of worry of believing in that which I have never seen.

It’s easier to deny God than to listen and accept him. But we shouldn’t be denying God just because we cannot see God. It’s easy to accept things that are able to be held and seen and to ignore that which can be neither.

God has always worked in ways that are sometimes invisible to us but impact others in ways we could never imagine. When Jesus was born people did not believe him to be who he claimed to be, ‘the son of God’. Eventually however they realized that he was truly who he had said.

When Jesus was with them it was hard for people to believe that he could be the Messiah. But many did, his disciples and followers all thought his word to be truth. They had walked with him and seen the things he had done.

God has always been walking with us, sometimes it’s hard to notice but he is beside us through it all.
God, help me to notice you and listen as you walk beside me in life, help me not to ignore and dismiss you but to acknowledge and receive everything you have planned for me. Amen.

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