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God’s Word for You

Luke 22:54-57 I do not know him, girl

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

54 Then they seized him and led him away, taking him into the high priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance.  55 When they got a fire going in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.  56 When a servant-girl noticed him as he sat in the firelight she peered at him and said, “This man was with him.”  57 But he denied it. “I do not know him, girl,” he said.

What’s the difference between being brave, and being loyal? One definition of being brave is going ahead with what must be done even though one is afraid. This is battlefield bravery, where everyone is scared, but the brave get on with the job at hand. Being loyal is not exactly the same. Being loyal is remaining true; following one’s leader no matter what. Peter was brave. Peter was frightened of what was happening, but he wanted to remain close to Jesus to find out what was going to happen.

Surrounded by dozens and dozens of armed opponents, Jesus was bound with ropes. He may have had his arms bound to his body, or his hands bound in front or behind his back, or he may simply have been placed in a loop of rope and led like an animal. He was taken to the house of the high priest. Whether this was Caiaphas (the current high priest) or Annas (his father-in-law and a previous one) is not explained by Luke. John tells us that Jesus was taken to Annas first and then to Caiaphas, but they probably lived in the same palace, so that Jesus was taken from room to room or from wing to wing. Why Jesus was taken to Annas first is not really explained and isn’t important. He and Caiaphas had the same opinion of Jesus and if Caiaphas had other business first, he could trust Annas to interview Jesus but not to let him go.

Peter was tested three times; Luke’s record of this first question is rather neutral. In John’s gospel, the girl asks a question which expects a “no” answer: “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?” He may have been worried that she recognized him, but she didn’t. He sidestepped an accusation with a lie: “I don’t know him, girl.”

He thought a lie would preserve his skin. We’re weak in the same way. It’s by the grace of God that we are forgiven these sins of self-preservation. How often don’t we panic when we are confronted about our faith? Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.



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