PETER ALONE AND IN TEARS
Powerful One, do something mighty in me and through me today. I long for a special touch from you.
Read MATTHEW 26:69–75
Peter Disowns Jesus
69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectTake heart that the Lord does not give up on us because we have failed him.
Peter the fisherman found himself outside the high priest’s house, a place oozing with influence and wealth. The sophisticated elite of Jerusalem had just decided to apply the death penalty to Jesus (v 66). Did Peter find his confidence draining away?
This was the most shameful incident of his life. Hours before, he had insisted that he would rather die than deny his Lord. But now, facing banter from strangers, he denied that he had been Jesus’ friend and colleague for three wonderful years. He denied even that he knew Jesus. He emphatically refused to identify with Jesus.
Was Peter simply emotionally exhausted after a busy evening: the Last Supper, Judas’ betrayal, failing Jesus in Gethsemane, drawing his sword and nearly killing someone (John 18:10), and seeing Jesus roughed up by court bullies (vs 67,68)? Can you imagine yourself being cowed into denying Christ by the people around you? Or by unfamiliar surroundings? Or by the dazzle of power? Or by a sense of inferiority? Or…? The fact is there was no good reason for Peter not to identify bravely with Jesus of Nazareth.
Peter’s sobbing marked real repentance (v 75). He made no secret of his sin. The church came to know all about it. It’s in all four gospels. His Lord knew it too, and forgave. (See Mark 16:7; John 21:15–17.)
‘Oh, that it might be said of me, “Surely your speech gives you away; you have been with Jesus of Galilee!”’*
Lord, before you I admit I was born a devout coward. Dear Jesus, fill me with your courage and devotion so that I will always honor you.
*CSSM chorus by EHG Sargent (adapted).
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