Jesus is arrested and is denied by Peter

Day 7 and 8 of 2 Weeks 2 the Cross: Matthew 26:47-56, 69-75

While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. A large mob, with swords and clubs, was with him from the chief priests and elders of the people. His betrayer had given them a sign: “The One I kiss, He’s the One; arrest Him!” So he went right up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

“Friend,” Jesus asked him, “why have you come?”

Then they came up, took hold of Jesus, and arrested Him. At that moment one of those with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword. He struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his ear.

Then Jesus told him, “Put your sword back in its place because all who take up a sword will perish by a sword. Or do you think that I cannot call on My Father, and He will provide Me at once with more than 12 legions of angels? How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”

At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as if I were a criminal, to capture Me? Every day I used to sit, teaching in the temple complex, and you didn’t arrest Me. But all this has happened so that the prophetic Scriptures would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted Him and ran away.

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant approached him and she said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean too.”

But he denied it in front of everyone: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

When he had gone out to the gateway, another woman saw him and told those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene!”

And again he denied it with an oath, “I don’t know the man!”

After a little while those standing there approached and said to Peter, “You certainly are one of them, since even your accent gives you away.”

Then he started to curse and to swear with an oath, “I do not know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed, and Peter remembered the words Jesus had spoken, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

As Jesus was being secured by the soldiers sent to bring Him to an unlawful, secret trial, every one of His disciples fled. Not one was left standing beside Him. That night they had all shared a deeply meaningful Passover meal together. Jesus had washed their feet. He had prayed with them and for their love to unite them so the world would know that Jesus is God’s Son. But now, Jesus faced the coming crucifixion alone, because only He could bear the sins of the world.

Jackson hides under his bed during our Hide and Go Seek game

Jackson hides under his bed during our Hide and Go Seek game

Our family activity for Day 7, to help us remember how Jesus was arrested and that the disciples ran away, was playing Hide and Go Seek. This is a favorite game in our family. It is a beautiful reminder that even when we go and hide from God, He is always seeking our hearts, ready to receive us again. Most of the time, the kids can’t even stay hidden. They have to make their presence known because they want to be found. I’m sure that night, though all the disciples scattered, Jesus’ words continued to speak in their minds and hearts, replaying from their three years with the Lord. This is when they needed Truth the most.

Peter, as one of the three closest disciples with Jesus and the only person ever to walk on water, knew intimately the power and deity of Jesus. Yet, he was terrified at His Lord’s arrest. He hastily drew a sword and cut off a soldier’s ear, then later, crept into the courtyard to where Jesus was being detained and would be tried. He allowed his fear to overtake his faith, and when asked if he was one of Jesus’ disciples, he vehemently denied it. Three times he disavowed His Savior and his best friend, the last time becoming so upset he cursed and swore to make it stop. He was desperate.

Then, the rooster crowed. And, Peter knew what he had done.

He fled into the night, weeping bitterly.

As we read this passage of Scripture as a family, Jackson wanted to know why Peter was so upset. We talked about what it meant to deny someone. We also fast forwarded the story for Jackson to let him know that God restored Peter and forgave him. Peter’s testimony reminds us that we must cling to Jesus rather than thinking we can conquer fear on our own. And, when we fail, we can embrace God’s grace to help us stand again.

We made rooster hats to reinforce the lessons of Peter’s denial. They turned out pretty cute. 🙂

We made rooster hats out of construction paper, tissue paper and string.

We made rooster hats out of construction paper, tissue paper and string.

Little boy fishing

There once was a boy who loved to fish. If his mom would let him, he would be out every day at his favorite spot. To the little boy, it didn’t matter if his catch were big or small, and most of the time he threw them back anyway. This particular day, his mom had told him to keep a few so that they could be packed for his lunch tomorrow.

Yesterday, the kids went fishing in our living room, so they would have fish to give to Jesus, as we learned about the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. Jackson preferred fishing with his makeshift pole, but Lauren went for the hands-on approach!

As the little boy fished, he began dreaming of tomorrow. Tomorrow!! News had been traveling from town to town of a man who spoke with such authority and astounded everyone who heard, a man who performed miraculous signs. The crowds were getting bigger and bigger everywhere he went, and tomorrow Jesus would be would be near his village. After begging for hours, the little boy’s mother had finally relented and given permission for him to go and see what everyone had been talking about for weeks. The little boy was going to see Jesus!

After fishing for most of the afternoon, the little boy went home with two small fish. That would be enough, he thought.

Bright and early the next morning, his mom packed a satchel with those two small fish, as well as five little loaves of bread, and watched her little boy walk down the path and out of view on his way to see Jesus.

Soon, the little boy found himself in the midst of a large crowd. Tousled to and fro, the boy squeezed his way around person after person, until he stumbled into a clearing. Freezing for a moment, not knowing where he was, he slowly looked up into the kindest eyes he had ever seen. The man gave him a tender smile, and the crowd hushed to listen.

Hours passed as Jesus taught the crowd about the Kingdom of God, of how to really live. Person after person fell at his feet and were healed. The blind could see, the lame could walk, the mute could shout praises to their Healer and Lord!

The day began to grow late, and Jesus turned to one of his disciples and asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?”  The little boy could see the confusion among the disciples. The boy looked around and there was nowhere he couldn’t see people waiting expectantly. How could anyone have enough money to buy food for everyone? The little boy was glad he had brought his lunch so they wouldn’t have to get him anything.

A man standing near the little boy noticed his satchel and asked him what he had brought today. The boy proudly told him that he had two fish he caught yesterday and some of his mom’s special barley loaves. The man patted him on the head and told him to wait right there. So, the little boy did.

Then, the little boy watched as the man walked straight up to Jesus and started talking and pointing in his direction. The little boy started to get scared. Had he done something wrong? The little boy felt his face get flushed and hands grow clammy as the disciples started calling for everyone to sit down and Jesus began to walk toward him. Jesus bent down, and the little boy found himself standing face to face with the man everyone had come to see.

Jesus asked the little boy if he could have his lunch. The little boy looked down at his two small fish and five loaves of bread. He felt his stomach growl, and looked back at Jesus. And then, the little boy gave everything he had to Jesus. He hoped Jesus would find his mom’s bread as tasty as he did! The little boy felt a thrill as Jesus placed his hand on his shoulder in thanks. Then Jesus turned and prayed aloud to the Father, blessing what had been given by the little boy.

Jesus began to break apart the bread and the fish. Baskets were gathered, and the little boy sat and watched in amazement as his catch from yesterday kept breaking into more and more pieces. His mom’s bread was passed again and again through the crowds. He ate, and the crowd ate, until they were satisfied. The little boy was pretty sure he ate more than what he brought!

Finally, when everyone was finished, the disciples gathered 12 baskets of leftovers, one for each of them. The crowd was amazed at what Jesus had done, calling him King and Savior! But instead of staying and allowing the people to crown him their Lord, Jesus turned and traveled further up the mountain, and the disciples urged and eventually made the crowd disperse and begin their travels home.

The little boy remained, not wanting to leave. The same man who had asked him about his lunch earlier in the day, approached him, carrying one of the leftover baskets. He gave it to the little boy to bring home to his family, so they, too, would believe in Jesus and what he had done that day.

Though it was later than his mom thought he should have been home, the little boy’s family listened with wonder as he told them about what Jesus had done and shared the basket of leftovers of mom’s bread, much more than what she had sent with her son. The little boy’s father prayed to God, and that night everyone in the family believed in Jesus, their Messiah.

The next morning, the little boy woke up early so he could go fishing again. He loved to fish, and he wondered how Jesus might use his catch today.

Jackson loved fishing for Jesus!

Read more about this miracle of Jesus in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:1-15.