A Glimpse of Spirituality（靈修一瞥）23 Fr. Abraham Chiu 趙必成神父
It is easy to say believing in God and also loving God with all one’s heart and life. However, lips service might be the best offer instead of laying down one’s life for God. Witnessing to Jesus, in short, words speak louder than actions.
Why? Everyone is afraid of pain and suffering. The death of Jesus is to give the human world the inescapable pain, a positive meaning.
Peter asked Jesus where he was going, and Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow afterward.” This means that the disciples will testify to Jesus with their lives in the future.
Peter understood what Jesus was referring to, and immediately answered Jesus: “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Here “lay down” (thēsō) is the same verb as Jesus’ “lay down” (tithēsin) in John 10:11; and “life” (psychēn) denotes earthly life. There is also a preposition “for” (hyper) describing the attitude of Jesus and Peter. Jesus is for the sheep, and Peter for Jesus.
Jesus is the eternal Son of God that he never changes his attitude toward humans. On the other hand, no matter how beautifully the people say, once the reality comes, for fear of pain, they will remain silent. People find difficulty in doing witness to God because humans always change their mind according to the worldly profits.
Jesus said bluntly to Peter: “before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.” The verb of “deny” (arnēsē) here means that Jesus’ disciples who, for fear of death or persecution, deny that Jesus is their master. Peter’s three denials against Jesus betrayed his weakness while persecution was about to come upon him (John 18:17, 25, 27).
Jesus, however, practically laid down his earthly life for the sheep as he said: “It is finished” in John 19:30. Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Regarding faith, when it is for Jesus, people will enter eternal life through suffering. However, if the faith is only for one’s own profits, they will escape suffering and enter eternal death.
“不認”（arnēsē）本意否認或否定，這裡解作耶穌門徒為了害怕死亡或迫害，否認耶穌是他們師傅。後來事實證明耶穌預言伯多祿的三次不認主（若18:17, 25, 27）。