Observer Mindset

Having the mindset of an observer will lead me to fail when I am asked to step up and participate.

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

Matthew 26:57-58

Peter went to see the outcome. He was an observer with no expectation of participation, but then someone asked him about his loyalties and he could not switch roles.

I too fall into this trap of trying to hide and resist being drawn in. I want to preserve my place as an observer. Yet my attempt to hide can leave me appearing to approve or betray.

Jesus’ silence at his trial makes him look like an observer. However, at key moments he intervened. It becomes clear that he is using the opportunity to clarify the real issue for those who considered themselves to be the judges, but were themselves on trial.

Mindset when tested

When Peter went to his trial, he was taken unawares.

Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, …. Peter followed him at a distance, … He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

Matthew 26:57-58

Peter went “to see the outcome”, to observe, not participate. When I adopt an observer mindset, I resist being drawn in. Then a test comes seemingly out of nowhere. I fail to take responsibility and am taken unawares into a betrayal.

… a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

Matthew 26:69-70

Jesus went into his trial ready to be a responsible participant, though for the most part he was silent.

“This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” … But Jesus remained silent.

Matthew 26:61-63

He would not be drawn into frivolous arguments. But at the right moment he intervened.

The high priest said to him, “…  Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” … Jesus replied “… From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Matthew 26:63-64

The leaders thought they were trying Jesus. They were taken unawares when he presented just the right words to test their hearts.

How do we adopt a mindset that is ready to be tested?