Friday, August 19, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: John

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

John. Today's book is John.

Picking one passage from John is like walking into Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory and choosing ONE delectable to sample.

So, I'm going to go with the one thing that dropped into my spirit the moment I realized John was up this week:

Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?"

Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."

Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."

Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows you will disown me three times!

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be where I am." - John 13:36 - 14:3

The last time I did a deep study of the book of John, the context of that passage really struck me. Often we split the story at the end of chapter 13 -- when Jesus declares that Peter will deny him -- and pick up the next time with the lovely promises of chapter 14 and never realize that they go together. Those chapter-and-verse breaks make the Bible easy to reference and study, but it does disrupt continuity at times. We forget that.

Jesus just told Peter that he was about to fail the biggest test of his faith to date, and then says, in effect, 'Don't worry about it'.

It's all part of the same speech. Jesus didn't hesitate or change the subject. He dropped his bombshell, offered comfort, and then answered the original question.

In some odd way, I find this passage comforting. Peter failed...but he repented. None of the promises Jesus gave him were invalidated because of his failure.

I've failed, many times. I stagger under the weight of my failure. I'm quite sure that there are people who discredit anything I would say/do for the cause of Christ because of my past failure. And, to be honest, I would sacrifice much for the opportunity to go back and un-fail any one of those moments. But I can't.

But I can repent; renounce my stupidity and my self-centeredness and my pride and learn to recognize similar situations so I will not fail in that way again.

And I can cling to Jesus words "Do not let your heart be troubled."

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating. I'd never thought of those two (usually separated) passages as contiguous. So good to have another passage for encouragement when I've blundered. Thanks, Lisa!