John 13:36-38, “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.’ Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.”
John 18:15-18, 25-27, “And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself. Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, ‘You are not also one of His disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not!’ One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with Him?’ Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.”
Denial. It is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the action of declaring something to be untrue; the refusal of something requested.” The famous example of denial is found in the text that I have supplied here today. Here is shown the example of Peter denying his affliation with Jesus three times.
Peter denied Jesus three times. That is true, but before we get too hard on him, let us analyze this. How many times is Jesus denied by people daily? Being associated with Jesus in the 1st century A.D. was difficult. People left and right were being killed based on their faith in Jesus. Even today, there are people who are being persecuted for the name of Jesus. The name of Jesus is a name that brings comfort to some and anger to others. This anger can start a track for denial. A denial of God and a denial of the fact of what Jesus did for us. Peter’s denial was a “knee-jerk” reaction. Someone asked, he answered. It was the wrong answer, but he was scared.
Fear can cause someone to do seemingly irrational things. Peter was a follower of Jesus, loved Jesus, and was a friend of Jesus. Yet, in moments of fear, he did the unthinkable. I am sure that for the rest of his life, this sat in his mind. The time that he denied Jesus. Jesus knew it would happen and still decided to build His church using Peter and have Peter be a critical person for Him. Jesus could have given up on Peter like Peter did to Him. He didn’t.
How often could Jesus give up on us? Daily, in my case. I don’t always live for Jesus the way I should. I separate myself from Him with the sins that I commit. Everyone sins and separates themselves from God. God could have easily just destroyed His creation without providing a way to be saved. God chose, rather, to save His creation by sending Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus’ love far outweighs the disappointment He has for us. Praise God that is the case.
The next time you hear this story, put yourself in Peter’s shoes (or sandals). Not for the excuse but for perspective. Jesus deserves all our praise and all the recognition. Not because He needs us. Because we need Jesus. Daily, hourly, “minute-ly” and “second-ly.” Jesus is there for us. Let us be sure to give Him His place in our lives. You won’t regret it.
Thank You for the lesson on Peter. Yes, he denied You but so do we. We don’t honor You and give You the praise that You deserve. Help us to have the courage to stand for You in the face of adversity. Stand in the face of hatred. Stand in the face of those who want to deny You. We pray for strength to be Your followers and to spread Your good news to all the world. I pray that this blog as well as all the blogs that preach the Word reach the entire world. Your name needs to declared everywhere. You only are holy. You alone are worthy. You alone are God. You were God yesterday, God today, and will be God tomorrow. Let us accept you daily, without denial.
In Your name we pray,