In the power of the Holy Spirit: Pentecost


If we had friends who had let us down badly at the very time when we most needed their help, we should wonder whether we could ever trust them again.  We might take to heart the proverb, “Once bitten, twice shy”.  But no friends let anyone down as badly as the Apostles let Jesus down.


The Apostles failed Jesus

After the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday evening, Jesus with his Apostles left the Upper Room, which was situated in the south-west corner of Jerusalem and, in the light of the full moon, walked across the city and so went out by the Fountain Gate near the south-east corner.  Once outside the city walls, they turned north and made their way to the Garden of Gethsemane which was on the slope of the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem.  The whole distance was about a mile, and while they were on their way Jesus turned to Peter, the leader of the Apostles, and said, “…this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times” (shall say three times that you do not even know me).  But Peter said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you” (NRSV, Mark 14:30,31).  And the rest of the Apostles said the same

Well, you know how they kept their word.  When the armed men, with Judas Iscariot at their head, entered the Garden to arrest Jesus, all the disciples deserted him and fled.  Peter, it is true, followed afar off into the courtyard of the high priest’s palace, but it was only to do there what he had said he would never do – to say of Jesus, “I do not know this man…” (NRSV, Mark 14:71).

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