Thursday, April 13, 2017

Women in the Life of Jesus: The High Priest's Servant Girl

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by.  When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.
“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.
 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it.
After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”
 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”
 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.-Mark 14:66-72 (NIV)

When writing the series about Women in the Life of Jesus, I came across this girl's story many times. Because tomorrow is Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified, I started thinking about these women again.  I never finished writing the series, and there were quite a few women involved in the days that surround Good Friday and Resurrection Day.  The high priest's servants girl was one of them.  
 I didn't really want to write about this girl because she wasn't one of Jesus' followers. Her story always bothered me.  What could she have to contribute to the series I was writing?  Today this thought crossed my mind, and is a message for others- Don't be like her.  But hidden in this story is also a message for the Church.
If we look closely at the passage of scripture in Mark 14, we can see a few telling details about her.  She was the high priests servant girl.  It doesn't say she was a woman, but a girl.  When I looked up the definition for "girl" in Strong's concordance, it gave me the definition for servant girl as being, "female slave, maidservant, maid, young girl."  That tells us even more.  
The high priest was part of the group of people who were getting ready to convict Jesus and sentence Him to death.  They represent the Law and religion.  The girl was a slave to that.  She was most like influenced by their opinions, being in their presence much of the time.
But notice in Mark 14 verse 67 it says , "she looked closely" at Peter.  And then she identifies him.  How would she know who Peter was, unless she had seen him before?  Now the Bible doesn't say this, but if she had seen him before, she had most likely already been around Jesus. This girl breaks my heart.
Here we have a young girl, who probably had been around Jesus, but because of religion and the Law chose to reject Him!  What does that say to us?
We, as the Church, should closely inspect our message.  Are we preaching the grace, goodness, mercy, love and forgiveness of God?  Or are preaching it, get it all right, do the right thing and you will be accepted?  
I think I used to be like her. I was afraid of God much of the time because I didn't know Him.  I didn't know Jesus.  I still have to watch my thought life, because of my history, and make sure my thoughts stay on the truth of who Jesus is.  
So, don't be like her.  Don't let religion keep you from the one who loves you so much.  Don't let religious people keep you from the one who loves you so much.  

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.-John 1:17

To read more posts in this series, go here to Women in the Life of Jesus.

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