Monday Morning, 8 Oct 2019, Matthew 26:57-75~ liars, connivers, abusers, and deniers

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening –  A Collect for the Renewal of Life (Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Morning Reading -Matthew 26:57-75 (NLT)

Jesus before the Council

Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.

Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone’s testimony. Finally, two men came forward who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”

“Guilty!” they shouted. “He deserves to die!”

Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”

Peter Denies Jesus

Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”

But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.

A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”

Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.

Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.
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Morning Reflection:

liars, connivers, abusers, and deniers

The high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—
tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.
And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand
and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
– Matthew 26:63-65 –

The rigged trial in the Chief Priest’s home is the point at which Jesus’ death is sealed; all that follows involving the Roman prefect is only the formal implementation of a verdict already decided by the Jewish authorities.

The pivotal moment is Jesus’ affirmation of his Messianic identity as Son of God and Son of Man. This affirmation resulted in the bogus charge of “blasphemy,” a crime punishable by death  under Mosaic Law at this time. So there it is – the liars, connivers, and abusers who have conspired to kill the Son of God are having their way. And all the disciples have fled, afraid for their lives, leaving Jesus in the hands of His persecutors. Meanwhile, The denier hangs around at a safe distance; but when push comes to shove, he’s gone.

In today’s reading we are invited to choose between two models of how godly people  behave under pressure:

  1. the one who escapes death but with his spiritual reputation in tatters
  2. and the one who will be killed, only to live again in triumph.

Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 10:39 is brought into sharp focus in today’s reading –

“If you cling to your life, you will lose it;
but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”

Questions for consideration:

  • In today’s post-Christian society, we are continually bombarded with messages from liars, connivers, abusers, and deniers of Jesus the Son of God. Consider for a moment some of the TV programs that you watch. Who are these people? What is their message? What does it say about Jesus? Please explain.
  • Do you believe there is a concerted societal effort today to “kill Jesus,” i.e. to remove Him from all conversations or discussions in public? Why/ why not? Please explain.
  • Jesus said we have to give up our lives for Him, in order to find our lives in Him. Can you think of ways, or examples, of how that has worked out in your life? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: Canticle

Christ as a light illumine and guide me.
Christ as a shield overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me,
Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me on my left and my right.
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“Jesus Son of God” – Chris Tomlin

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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