"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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John 18:12-27 Commentary
by Meda Stamper
The week’s text is a tale of two interrogations, with Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus told in two parts and Jesus standing like a beacon of truth in the center.
Immediately on either side of this text is violence, but stretching out into eternity beyond the violence in either direction is love.
Violence is easier than testimony. The nonviolent resistance of love expressed in testimony is vulnerable and courageous. Both of those are demonstrated here and throughout John 18-19.
Violence begets violence, so when the arresting party shows up with weapons in the verses immediately prior to these, Peter responds with a sword. This Gospel identifies the wounded person in his particularity as Malchus, a slave of the high priest as Peter is a slave-friend to Jesus (John 15:15-20). Peter’s violence, utterly contrary to Jesus’ commandment to love, is also pointless. Jesus has already come forward to surrender himself. Even when evil seems most in control, it isn’t, and Jesus’ life will be finished when he says it is.
Jesus, arrested and bound, is taken to Annas. There is no trial before the Sanhedrin in this Gospel. They have already ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL309: Peter's Denial
March 04, 2018
This is the podcast on John 18:12-27, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Mar. 4, 2018, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.