by Christopher Harbin

Acting in Confidence
Christopher B. Harbin
John 13:30-38

True confidence is an attitude based on a sense of trust and security. It is not easy to build, nor is it often simple to maintain. We often picture a media scene where one character asks the other, "Do you trust me?" The answer generally ought to be, "Is there any reason I should?" How do we respond when it is Jesus asking us to trust him? We may offer a glib answer, but do our actions follow such a response appropriately?
The gospels generally portray Peter with one foot in his mouth, the other foot quick to follow Jesus' leading. His intentions were generally the very best, though they very often were misdirected for a lack of understanding Jesus' core values and priorities. Then again, this was all new to Peter. He had been a fisherman for years, the son of a fisherman far longer, but this disciple thing was a new venture, and Jesus was by definition a game-changer.
Peter had been a leader among the disciples from the very start. His impulsive nature led him to take many an initiative among the others. Often, he was the spokesman for what no one else was willing to say, at other times, we can picture the disciples cringing in response to Peter's words or actions. Peter's words flowed from a desire to honor and serve Jesus, but they so often betrayed an interest or purpose in conflict with Jesus' desires and teaching. Regardless, the gospel writers took pains to show in Peter's example how Jesus gently redirected all of them at so many points in which religion, culture and society would take them down a path contrary to the direction Jesus wanted them to follow.
The night of Jesus' last meal with the disciples was no different.
They were all gathered to celebrate the Passover meal, when Jesus took the focus of the celebration off the story of the exodus from Egypt and spoke of the new Exodus he would introduce. Jesus would usher in a new Exodus to freedom through God's power working w ...

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