Come, Follow Me: Luke 22; John 18

Charles Eugene Russell, “Even As You Do Unto Me” (2017 Book of Mormon Central Art Competition)

This week’s Come, Follow Me reading discusses the betrayal, arrest, and arraignment of Christ. What I consider one of the Bible’s most heartbreaking stories is also found in these passages. Mere hours after Peter pledges his support and love to Christ, telling Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death” (Luke 22:33), he denies Christ three times, fulfilling a prophecy Christ had given after Peter’s previous devotional statement. Afterward, “Peter went out, and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).

Similarly, Isaiah prophesied not only Peter’s betrayal of Christ, but all of humanity’s. In one of my favorite sections of the Book of Mormon, Abinadi quotes this prophecy to the priests of Noah, telling them: “Christ is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not… All we, like sheep, have gone astray” (Mosiah 14:3, 5). Noah and his priests ultimately killed Abinadi for these teachings.

While the stories of Peter and Abinadi may initially seem dichotomous (one is seemingly a story of betrayal, the other a story of loyalty), I believe that viewing them side-by-side can help us see them both in a different light, thus helping us consider our own personal journeys. Along his journey of discipleship, Abinadi undoubtedly made many missteps, just as Peter did. Just as Abinadi, Peter became a stalwart disciple of Christ, largely due to his experiences described in Luke 22. The Gospel of Christ is about becoming, and we become little by little, day by day, and mistake by mistake. What’s more, we are not alone on this journey. As Abinadi said, Christ died alone so that we don’t have to. He loves us and He will help us as we turn to Him.

-Emma Belnap, Research Assistant