Monday, March 16, 2009

Peter and Judas

On Friday we talked about Jesus washing Judas’ feet and the need to serve our enemies. We discussed the fact that the Holy Spirit will give us discernment as to what that service should look like.

The subject naturally gives itself to the discussion of our perception of forgiveness. Note Jesus saved some very important private conversation out of the earshot of Judas. Jesus waited until the betrayer was out of the room before telling his disciples he would come back for them (John 13:31-38). It was then he prophesied the denial of Peter.

Peter denied Jesus out of fear. Judas betrayed Jesus out of greed. Jesus prophesied that Peter would return (Luke 22:31-32), but that it would have been better for Judas if he had not been born (Mathew 26:24). Both men grieved over their actions (Mathew 26:25; Mathew 27:3-4) but only one was forgiven.

Why did Jesus rescue Peter (Mark 16:7) but leave Judas condemned? It is the difference between grief leading to repentance and grief for loss of position. Peter was like King David, Judas was like Saul.