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The Whole Story

"You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: " 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' " But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."

Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not."

"Truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "today - yes, tonight - before the rooster crows twice" you yourself will disown me three times."

But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same. Mark 14:27-31 (NIV)

Also read Mark 14: 66-72

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72 (NIV)

Andrew Gadd , from England, recently read the autobiography of a now-departed saint, pastor, author, and international speaker. As he read, Andrew was not only inspired by his successes but also impressed by his honesty about his failings. He acknowledged his many mistakes caused by inexperience, pride, or arrogance. Reviewing his life, he presented the bad as well as the good.

Peter denied Jesus three times despite having insisted that he would never do that. If Andrew was Peter, he would have made sure that no one wrote down his failings. If he were to write the story of his life, it would be a sanitized, airbrushed masterpiece charting the highs of his association with Jesus and his ministry.

When people are honest about their fears and their failings, we can share in their journeys to a depth that is not possible if they present only the good parts of their lives. Vulnerability, sometimes considered a weakness, is actually a strength. Vulnerability is bravery. Authenticity is connection. Andrew is immensely thankful that the Gospel writers captured the embarrassing failings of the disciples as well as their successes. In the Gospels we see the arguments, doubts, denials, and betrayals. In these accounts, we can see ourselves.

Prayers: Dear Lord, Jesus, forgive our failings. Help us to be brave and vulnerable, strong and authentic, in your service. In Jesus' name. Amen.


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