Peter swore to them I don’t know the man! And then he remembered Jesus words… and we went outside and wept bitterly… – Peter’s denial of Jesus
I’m on the King’s Highway, I’m travelin’ everyday
‘Cause I just can’t keep from crying sometimes
Well, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes
When my heart’s full of sorrow and my eyes are filled with tears
Lord, I just can’t keep from crying sometimes
It’s bad enough to betray a friend but when that friend predicts your betrayal and then you fulfill it not even 24 hours later… well, I would have wept bitterly too. The thing is, I can totally imagine myself doing exactly what Peter did. Everybody knew that you didn’t mess with the Romans; they weren’t inclined to give you a slap on the wrist and send you off with a warning (Barabbas being the blatant exception but there’s no way Peter would have seen that one coming.) No, Peter was not unjustified in his fear, so when people started associating him with Jesus, he did what I think I might do – he distanced himself.
And you could justify it to yourself, couldn’t you? What use would it be if I am also in jail? How can I help Jesus then? No, I need to make sure I stay outside and figure out a way to help him? Ya, that’s it.
And then there would have been the internal confusion.
I thought when you first left me, I’d grieve for a little while
Soon it all would be over, and I’d journey on with a smile
But the thought as I get older, I think on what I told her
Well I’m on the King’s highway—–, travelin’ everyday——
And I just can’t keep from crying sometimes
You were expecting a revolution – you were willing to start it, for cryin’ out loud! Cut off the guy’s ear! Take that! And what the heck was Judas doing anyway, bringing the Romans right there? You thought he was your friend, you thought he was Jesus’ friend. How could he betray him just like that? And then you pretty much go and do the same damn thing.
It all feels uncomfortable familiar. How often have I tried to justify my actions to myself? To God? How often do I do what I know I shouldn’t? More often than I’d like to admit, that’s for sure.
And sometimes, that makes me cry too.