The Words of the Nseka Family

A Lesson from the Twelve

Christian Nseka
December 22, 2010

We read in the Bible that Jesus predicted that Peter was going to disown him three times. Not only that he predicted it, he even told Peter about it (cf. Matthew 26:31–35). Yet, even though Peter himself said that it was not going to happen, he did indeed deny knowing Jesus when it came time for him to prove his faith. What would have happened if Peter did not deny knowing Jesus?

There is no way of knowing exactly what would have happened if Peter did not disown the Messiah. What we know is that he did indeed disown Jesus and that Jesus was taken to Pilate and later to Golgotha where he was crucified.

The purpose of this article is neither to examine why Peter disowned Jesus nor to speculate on what would have happened if he did not disown the Lord, but to point out what happened among the apostles of Jesus after Peter disowned him.

It is clear that Peter weakened his stand as the head of disciples when he disowned Jesus. However the Bible tells us that on the evening of the day that Jesus rose from the dead, the apostles were ALL TOGETHER in a room (cf. John 20:19). The Bible does not report any sign of disunity or discordance among them. I think anybody reading this article will agree with me when I say it may be possible that none of the ten apostles accused Peter of disowning Jesus.

Can we imagine what would have happened if the ten apostles continuously blamed Peter for disowning Jesus? Better yet, just imagine what would have happened if all of the eleven apostles repeatedly blamed one another for not walking to Golgotha with Jesus. They probably would not have been sitting TOGETHER in the room where Jesus found them.

The fact that the apostles put their shortcomings aside and tried to find ways through which to come together and survive the situation in which they found themselves helped them bond. That bond allowed Jesus to find them ALL in one place. And given that there was a spirit of unity rather than division among them, it made Jesus' task of reinvigorating them even that much easier.

Today we, Unificationists, seem to forget that True Parents' mission is being fulfilled on the foundation of Jesus'. Hence, similar key challenges that Jesus experienced in relation to his apostles in particular and Israel in general two thousand years ago will also have to be experienced by True Parents in relation to their children (True Children as well as members) in particular and the world in general. Also, the things that Jesus spoke about will have to be definitely fulfilled at the time of True Parents.

Jesus taught his disciples not to judge others (cf. Matthew 7:1–2). He also said, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3–4). Regardless of how loud we shout that the apostles of Jesus did not unite with him during his earthly life, we should however acknowledge the fact that they did indeed unite with the risen Jesus. And one of the reasons why they united with the risen Jesus was the unity they created among them before the risen Jesus visited them. They certainly created an environment and atmosphere of self-judgment rather judging one another.

We should think about what we need to do in order to create an atmosphere of unity. The apostles of Jesus were certainly terrified given what happened to Jesus, their Master. And I believe that they all felt somewhat responsible in the hindsight. This is why even though Peter made an observable mistake of disowning Jesus, the apostles did not find the need to remind him that he denied knowing the Lord. It probably would not have been the same harmonious reality if Peter was self-righteous and defensive about it. One thing for sure is that, besides fearing for their lives, the apostles nurtured an attitude of repentance and humility. This resulted in all of them coming together.

It would have made it very difficult for Jesus to work with the apostles if they chose to embrace animosity rather than unity among them. Therefore on the foundation of their unity, Jesus was able to not only reinstate Peter as the head of the disciples, but to also inaugurate the third worldwide course to restoring Canaan.

I would like us to think very deeply whether we make it easy for True Parents when we create an atmosphere of judgment and division. Jesus said, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand" (Matthew 12:25). Who wins when there is conflict among those who believe in True Parents? Not God, not True Parents, not Jesus, not you, not me, but Satan. And when Satan wins, nobody else wins -- regardless of whether one believes in True Parents.

It is time that we learn from the Twelve. They could have blamed, judged, rejected, criticized, and alienated Peter and one another after Jesus was crucified. Instead, they sat together as brethren, humbly, without pointing fingers. That is a similar atmosphere we need to create TODAY for the sake of True Parents and God's providence.

The Messiah does not teach division, but unity. He does not teach resentment, but forgiveness. He does not teach hatred, but compassion.

What would we like the future generations to say about us?

Think about it.

Happy Holidays! 

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