47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” – Luke 22:47-48 (ESV)
It is interesting that two stories are back to back in the gospel of Luke. Both having to do with the topic of disowning Jesus. A closer look today will help us understand better how to own Jesus.
The first of the two stories is recorded above. Judas is easy to despise. He had the advantages of a disciple. He knew Jesus personally, intimately. He knew him well. Yet he was not fully connected to Jesus’ heart. So pretending intimacy he came to betray Jesus. With the irony that the symbol for intimate adoration was the signal to arrest Jesus, he disowned him. Later he would regret this act of disowning him. He actually takes his own life because he cannot get over the fact that his betrayal begins the process of the crucifixion.
The next story is the story of Peter’s disowning Jesus. He continues to follow Jesus after others have fled. From a distance, he must know the outcome of these events. But a young girl calls him out. She tells it like it is and he is forced by his determined self preservation to lie and disown Christ. He too, is weeping in agony after the fact. But he returns to the risen Christ and is forgiven and empowered to be a witness for Jesus.
There are many ways that we can disown Christ. Some by the things we do and say. Some by the things that are left undone. Some because of their disappointment with God. Some because they are safeguarding their reputation. Jesus was very direct, “if you deny be before men, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven”. (Mt 10.32-33)