Thursday of Holy Week

Rev. Steve Boutell   -  

Today’s blog devotion may be a bit shorter. I am looking forward to worshiping with you tonight at 7 pm. You can engage with worship here on this website or on our Facebook page.

Today’s scripture story revolves around the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane. In worship tonight well center around the Gospel of John’s version of the story which concentrates on foot washing. Here well continue to look at Mark’s Gospel and the story he tells.

The larger story can be found in Mark 14:12-72.

Since I have been talking about questions this week, I am drawn today to the portion of the story in Mark 14:66-72.

The events in this portion of the larger story deal with the events that take place after the Last Supper, after Jesus prays in Gethsemane, and after Jesus is arrested.

Almost all of the disciples have fled. Peter stands out in the courtyard while Jesus stands trial before the High Priest.

3 Times people question whether Peter is a disciple of Jesus.

3 times Peter denies that he even knows Jesus.

Jesus had predicted Peter would do deny him.

 2Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.”  Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

MARK 14:29-30 (NRSV)

After Peter’s first denial of Jesus, Mark tells us that the rooster crowed. It is almost as if this is Peter’s heads up that what Jesus has predicted is happening. But Peter doesn’t get the clue.

After Peter denies Jesus a third time the rooster crows again.

 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

MARK 14:72 (NRSV)

It is after the rooster crows the second time that Peter gets it. He breaks down and weeps to remember that Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny him 3 times.

This story brings to my mind a few questions for this Holy Thursday.

  1. What are the ways I deny Jesus?

This denial may not take the form of me saying “I don’t know him!” It may be times that my thoughts or actions are not in line with who I desire to be as a follower of Jesus.

  1. How am I unaware of the clues that are around me?

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are often reminded of ways that we are not where we are supposed to be, doing what we need to do, thinking what we need to think, saying what we need to say.

How often do I ignore the clues of the Holy Spirit?

  1. What breaks my heart?

I was on a team that provided leadership to the district of the United Methodist Church where I was serving. As we planned worship and leadership opportunities for the clergy and lay of our district we had some recurring questions that we asked.

Those questions were

  • What breaks the heart of God?
  • Is my heartbroken by the things that break God’s heart?

Peter gets a bad rap for his 3 fold denial. But as is usual, Peter comes around.

His heart is broken by his denial.

Have a great Holy Thursday being reminded that God’s heart broke for the sins of the world o much that he offered his only Son.

See you tomorrow.

Pastor Steve