But he (Peter) replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” Luke 22:33 NIV
The context of this passage is interesting. It takes place at the Passover meal before the crucifixion. The disciples had been discussing who among them was the greatest. Jesus talks to them about having a right perspective , that they are to be servants not looking for status. Jesus specifically says to Peter that he is praying that Peter’s faith will not fail. Then Peter boldly says that he is ready to go even to death with Jesus. Jesus replies that Peter will deny him, not only once but three times, before the cock crows. And that is exactly what happened. After Jesus is seized by the guards, a servant girl spies Peter and accuses him of being a follower of Jesus. Peter roundly denies it and denies any association two more times.
It’s so easy to be brave in theory; so hard to be brave and honest in practice. Would I be willing to be a whistleblower if it meant losing my job? Would I step in if I saw someone being assaulted? Would I risk going to jail if the laws of the land changed and it was a crime to be a Christian? I think I would be like Peter and chicken out. I hope I wouldn’t, but I think I would.
But the beautiful part of this story is that after the resurrection Jesus comes back to Peter and specifically gives him a position of authority in the new church of believers. At this point, Peter had some humility and humble leaders are the best. The story shows God’s graciousness in forgiving our sins and his love that continues to bless us in our weakness.