Take another look at the words in bold above. They concern, as it were, “religious” leaders, namely Peter and ten other close followers of Jesus Christ. Peter signs on the dotted line – he will not fall away when Jesus the shepherd is struck down - even if all the others don’t live up to their (similar) manifestos.
But Jesus is quite sure. He confirms to Peter that he, Peter, will deny Jesus three times before the cock crows a few hours later to signify that morning has arrived.
But Peter, adds another emphatic undertaking to his manifesto. “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
What about the other “religious” leaders? "And they all said the same." What do you think? Do you think that, receiving these eleven manifestos, Jesus will place his trust in his followers – trust that they will die with him rather than surrender their principles?
No. One of the four first-century biographers of Jesus Christ – John – wrote this. It explains everything. "Now when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man."
Maybe you have some sympathy with Neville Chamberlain. You may believe that it is only hindsight that has shown that his trust of the German Chancellor was misplaced. The problem with that is what Chamberlain called, euphemistically, “the settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem."
Chamberlain had, with Hitler, stitched up Czechoslovakia – signed away its territory and people into German ownership and control. Is no one trustworthy?
A good question. Can anyone be trusted? Is any manifesto worth anything? In the light of Jesus’ disciples, Neville Chamberlain, and countless others what are we to do?