Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Week 3 - Condemned by the Righteous

Refer to Mark 14: 53-72

After prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane and betrayal by Judas, Jesus is led away to stand trial in front of the Sanhedrin.
60: Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, "Well, aren't you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?" 61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62 Jesus said, "I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God's right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Later in Mark's account, we see Peter denying that he knows Jesus, and the famous moment when the cock crows a second time and Peter remembers Jesus predicting every action.

On the website www.biblewalk.com you can see many images from the Holy Land, including this statue of Peter:Imagine if you betrayed a friend, and it was immortalized in this way! But, if there is hope for Peter to be reconciled after falling away from his faith in Jesus Christ, then there is hope for all of us...a very comforting thought. As Adam Hamilton notes, "While we focus on Peter denying Christ during his appearance before the Sanhedrin, we should remember that Peter was the only disciple to come to the place Jesus was to be tried."

Some questions for discussion...
-- The Sanhedrin was a group of the most pious and religious people on earth. The God they preached about was right in front of them, and yet they did not recognize him. Why would they want to condemn him? In what ways would you say Jesus is still a threat to people's way of life today? To what extent do you think people's resistance to Jesus and his message is motivated by fear?
-- Peter's denial of Jesus is mentioned in all four Gospels, not to villify one of the disciples, but as an example of grace and redemption. When have you experienced the shame of realizing that you had denied Christ and have you felt the assurance of his forgiveness?

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