Jesus’ best friend, his BFF, homey, pal, buddy, amigo, confidante…denied him at Jesus’ worst hour. I’ve had friends deny me (not be there for me, reject me, ignore me) at normal times. But at the worst time? At my lowest? In my darkest? With the depressions I have battled (which, if you have, you know how dark and low they can be!) can we imagine simultaneously having our best friend abandon us too? Actually, I can imagine this to some degree. But I can’t imagine it to the degree that Jesus went through it. He had never done his friend wrong. He had given his friend everything he had. He had made his friend Peter who Peter was. And as Jesus was on his way to be brutally beaten& executed for the world, including Peter, Peter denied him. One teenie-weenie denial? No. Three blatant, consecutive, hurtful denials. Yet! Yet, yet, yet … Jesus. Loved. Him. Anyway. See, Jesus knew his best friend would deny him yet he “friended” him & Jesus knew his friend would deny him at his worst moment, yet he died for him. That’s love. That’s friendship. No matter what your friends and my friends have done to us–honestly–is never an excuse or a pardon or a justification to undo our love for them. Cause see, even if our friends move from the status of “friend” to “enemy,” Jesus says, “love your enemies,” too. There’s never a time to un-love the ones who love you….or hurt you. That’s Jesus’ style, that’s our mission. That’s true love.

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