By Andy Lund
Simon Peter tells why he denied Jesus in the courtyard of the High Priest.
Interviewer: Peter, why did you let Jesus down at his hour of need?
Peter: I couldn't do anything for him. I had no power to get him away from those who were threatening his life. But it wasn't that really. I was just scared for my own life. If I had admitted I knew Jesus then I would have been captured too - and probably killed.
Interviewer: Weren't you recognised anyway?
Peter: Yes, we went to the high priest's courtyard to see what was going on. Jesus had been captured and brought in for questioning. The girl at the door thought she recognised me and asked if I was a disciple. I said I wasn't.
Interviewer: What did you do then?
Peter: I just stood warming myself at the fire they had there. Someone else asked me if I knew Jesus and I denied it again. Then one of the servants of the high priest came up to me.
Interviewer: What did he want?
Peter: He reckoned he had seen us all after we had come from the Kidron valley. In the olive grove where they arrested Jesus.
Interviewer: What made him so sure? There were a lot of people around.
Peter: He saw me do something.
Peter: I lost my rag. There was this guy, Malchus - he's a servant of the high priest, too. They're related. Well, in all the confusion I got angry and I took my sword and attacked him. I cut his ear off.
Interviewer: I suppose you're bound to remember someone who did that.
Peter: Yes, especially when Jesus spoke to me right afterwards.
Interviewer: Oh, what happened?
Peter: He healed the man - put his ear right back on. Then he ordered me to put my sword away.
Interviewer: So you were forced to admit to his relative that you knew this man whose ear you'd chopped off.
Peter: No - I'm ashamed to say I didn't. I denied it again. I denied him- Jesus. And that was the third time. And then the cock crowed.
Interviewer: Was that significant?
Peter: Yes, because Jesus had said it would happen. I just broke down. I thought I would never do it. But I had. I felt totally miserable. I'd let down my Lord at his time of greatest need. I was distraught.
Interviewer: So did you have to leave the group of other disciples? I don't expect they were too pleased.
Peter: Well the great thing is that when Jesus rose from the dead he especially wanted me to know. He seemed to have forgiven me. It was terrific. And he gave me a special job looking after his people and leading his church- he called them his sheep. He said 'Feed my sheep'. I can't understand why he put so much faith in someone like me. Someone who'd let him down so badly. But that's just like him.
© Andy Lund
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