Monday, 14 April 2014

The bystanders



Matthew 26:69-75
Peter’s Denial of Jesus
 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant- girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he went out to the porch, another servant- girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said:“Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

There are always the observers
and the bystanders
Those who see all
who take it in
who watch
and wait
and weigh
and measure.
There are those who
stay on the fringes,
who hang back,
don't get involved.
And then there are those
who pitch in.
Those who, from the shadows
want to be in on the action.
Those who perceive wrongdoing
and want to make things right.
"He was there"
"That's one of his friends"
Both offered as indictments
not encouragement.
To be identified
as one of Jesus of Nazareth's cohorts
was not a compliment
but a judgment
a risky calling.
The women who served
had noticed.
Call it a woman's intuition
Call it curiosity...
It was the women
who called Peter out
on his friendship
and his loyalty.
The women
who confronted Peter
with his denial.
And Peter wept bitterly...

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