22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread. He gave thanks and broke it. He handed it to his disciples and said, “Take it. This is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup. He gave thanks and handed it to them. All of them drank from it. 24 “This is my blood of the covenant,” he said to them. “It is poured out for many. 25 What I’m about to tell you is true. I won’t drink wine with you again until the day I drink it in God’s kingdom.” 26 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus Says That the Disciples Will Turn Away 27 “You will all turn away,” Jesus told the disciples. “It is written, “ ‘I will strike the shepherd down. Then the sheep will be scattered.’ (Zechariah 13:7) 28 But after I rise from the dead, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 29 Peter said, “All the others may turn away. But I will not.” 30 “What I’m about to tell you is true,” Jesus answered. “It will happen today, in fact tonight. Before the rooster crows twice, you yourself will say three times that you don’t know me.” 31 But Peter would not give in. He said, “I may have to die with you. But I will never say I don’t know you.” And all the others said the same thing.
I grew up going to church, so this narrative is very familiar to me – traditionally called “The Last Supper” that Jesus shared with His disciples before His death.
Here we read of Jesus foretelling His death to the disciples, and also prophesying that they would all fall away from following Him in the face of the threat to their own personal safety.
“But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same”. Yet we know that they went against their word and disowned Jesus, running away in fear just a short time later.
As I read this familiar story, I ask myself – how would I have responded in this situation? It is easy to feel critical of the disciples’ responses, thinking that I wouldn’t have done the same.
Clearly, the disciples did not know their own hearts and what they were capable of, thinking they were stronger than they really were.
And then I think of all the times when I also have deceived myself about my own actions and motives, not wanting to believe that I was capable of such selfishness, only to find that the heart can be quite deceitful.
Bottom line – all of this points us to the need of a Saviour.
Thank you, Jesus, that in spite of our selfishness and faithlessness, You came and gave Your life for us. Thank You that even when we fail, Your forgiveness and love never does.
Written by Shelley Witt