Peter insisted emphatically,
“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”
(Mark 14:31, NIV)
Peter sincerely wanted to,
and intended to,
follow Jesus all the way to death.
But he didn’t realize his own weakness.
“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38b, NIV).
He neglected prayer.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (Mark 14:38a).
As a result, while Jesus stood firm in the face of imminent death,
Peter crumbled in weakness and fear.
He denied not only Christ
but everything he believed and
everything he was.
Lord, I’m like Peter.
I have no strength in myself, and
I don’t know what lies ahead.
I need You every moment in every way.
Help me to remember my utter weakness,
to watch and pray,
to hide myself in You.
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
(Mark 14:10-11, NIV)
Judas had lived with Jesus for three years. Yet he took the initiative and went to Jesus’ enemies and offered to hand Him over.
As sensitive as Jesus was to relationships, imagine how this must have hurt Him. Part of His suffering was to be sold cheaply by one of His closest friends.
What could have happened in Judas that he would do this? John 12:6 says he was a thief. Though he lived with Jesus every day, he had lost sight of what Jesus was all about. He had lost the heart.
Jesus, it’s easy for me to live with You intimately day by day, yet let my heart wander to selfish interests. Even as I serve You, my thoughts easily turn toward personal gain. When I pursue my own interests in Your service, I betray You, Lord. I dim Your glory in the eyes of those around me and expose Your precious work to scorn and loss.
Lord, keep me looking to You alone, seeking only You, loving only You.