Guilt By Association
Merciful God, You know the many, difficult pressures I face, but I pray to always be loyal to You.
Read Mark 14:66-72
 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by.  When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.  But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.  When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.”  Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”  He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”  Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat pressure did Peter face and how did he react?
Peter followed Jesus at a distance into the courtyard of the chief priest. He wants to be with Jesus despite the danger. He is challenged once and goes out into the entrance (68). He is challenged a second time and yet still hangs around. The third time he breaks down and weeps (72), but he doesn’t run away. Peter is not afraid to be with Jesus, but he is afraid to say that he was with Jesus. When it comes to confessing his faith, his courage fails him. Peter promised to follow Jesus when others fell away, even if he had to die. Hours later, the challenge comes from a mere servant girl but, still, he fails. It has been a stressful time, with violence in the Garden and the sudden ambush, but the fisherman doesn’t use any of these excuses. The cock crows, like an accusation, and Peter is cut to the heart. He sees how well Jesus knew him and felt this betrayal, even before it had happened. Years later, Peter teaches the church the lesson he has clearly learned: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15).
Pray for an opportunity to share your faith with courage and sensitivity today or later this week.
Lord Jesus, I know it won’t always be easy, but I do want the courage to always stand firm for You.
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