Bible Reference: Matthew 26.36-56

Gethsemane presents Peter in the garden - he at least wouldn't run away! - and Nathanael - urging common sense and wanting to know what had happened when Peter, James and John had gone further on to pray with Jesus.

It was Gethsemane - the garden where Jesus prayed, the garden where Jesus was betrayed. The eleven disciples all ran for their lives. Then one of them turned back...
NATHANAEL (puffing):Peter ... what's the hold up? ... Hurry up or they'll catch us!
PETER:I doubt it. I somehow feel they are only after the Master.
PETER:I know, Nathanael. They'd have grabbed me right away - as soon as I took that swipe at the high priest's man. The Master said, "Don't touch these men," and they never looked as if they would!
NATHANAEL:Peter, what happened in the garden? I mean when the Master took you and James and John a bit further on?
PETER:I don't rightly know, Nathanael. The Master seemed very worried about something - but I'm afraid the three of us all dropped off to sleep!
NATHANAEL:Shame on you!
PETER:Yes, I feel that, but - well - we were just so tired! So tired!
NATHANAEL:Come on, then, let's get going while we can. Remember, Peter, it's not just those guards. No doubt they have their instructions. But there are a lot of other people in Jerusalem. Jesus might be safer with the courts than we would be with the mob! Hurry up!
PETER:Wait, Nathanael! I was just remembering how the Master said we would all be scattered and leave him. He was right. What a loyal bunch of followers! I, for one, am going back. Maybe Jesus needs to see that even one of us still loves him and is willing to die for him!
NATHANAEL:Don't play the martyr, Peter! Jesus wouldn't let us bring more than two swords - you know that! And then he objected when you used one of them! I can't understand it! By the time those guards came, he was so calm - not troubled any more - as if his destiny was about to be fulfilled.
PETER:Strange that you say that! I think ... no, I'm not at all sure. I was just so dog-tired ... I have a bit of an idea he was praying about his Father's will.
NATHANAEL:Come on, Peter. Let's be off!
PETER:No, Nathanael. You go. I must go back before it's too late. I must make my stand for the Master.
No - even Peter, for all his bravado, couldn't make much of a stand. Jesus faced his trial very much alone. What did it all really mean? How could something so terrible be someone's destiny, be the Father's will? We know the "what-comes-next", but the disciples didn't grasp that. They were quite unprepared for the tragedy - and the ecstasy!

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, © Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

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