‘I hate to let people down.’ Do you say that and, if so, what does it mean?
It usually means that if we have promised to do something for somebody else, then we make sure that we carry that promise out – such as attending a special event; or completing a piece of work; or giving someone our time.
On occasions, sadly, other factors can get in the way and our good intentions can end up failing to materialise. At the Last Supper Jesus said that his disciples were going to let him down.
Simon Peter was outraged and said that even although all the other disciples would let Jesus down, then he certainly would not. By using these words, Simon Peter as well as saying that he would not let Jesus down, was also indicating that he felt himself to be somewhat better than the rest of the group.
However, Jesus told Simon Peter that he would deny being his friend on three occasions.
Despite Simon Peter’s protests, that was what Peter did do after Jesus was arrested.
He did it because he was worried about what might happen to him if he admitted to it. When Simon Peter realised he had let Jesus down, he wept bitterly.
After Jesus’ resurrection, there was a rather awkward meeting at the seashore between Jesus and Simon Peter. Jesus asked Simon Peter on three separate occasions if he was still his friend.
Simon Peter said that of course he was.
And each time Jesus told Simon Peter to look after his followers. Jesus not only forgave Simon Peter for ‘letting him down’, he also made it clear that Simon Peter still had work to do for him.
And in the years that followed, Simon Peter made sure that he did not let Jesus down again.
Rev. Ian McLachlan