This is a well known part of the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Just as Judas is betraying Him, Jesus is promised by Peter that he never will. Of course we know what happens. Jesus tells Peter that he will, in fact deny Him, three times. This scandalises Peter, and yet he goes on to do exactly this a short time later. We love the reconciliation between Jesus and Peter over breakfast which follows later too, don’t we. Isn’t it interesting, though that the betrayals of Judas and Peter are set side by side by Luke here. Having reported that Judas has agreed to betray Jesus, and taken us to the Last Supper, at which Jesus says that all of this is necessary, we see that Peter, just as he is about to betray Jesus himself, cannot believe that another would do this.
How often are we so quick to see the speck in the eyes of others that we miss the log in our own eye? It’s easy for me to look at your life and see what is wrong with it, but I should watch myself. In the instant of doing that I may well be rushing headlong in to my own disaster, born of bad decision making, arrogance or whatever else it may be. It is striking that Jesus, knowing what both Judas and Peter were about to do, tells them both, in a sense, that He understands.
When the opportunity arises today to be appalled at the behaviour of others and to look down upon them, let’s be aware that we are only ever a few bad decisions away from being much worse than we perceive others to be. And the beauty of it all is that God loved us, and them, from the first, and will do beyond the end of the world. Let’s do all we can to love like that today.