Denial

October 1, 2018

Luke 22:59-62… And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly, this man was with him for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

            Peter denied Jesus 3 times in the evening when Jesus was crucified. I have thought about this often. I don’t think I would have admitted being a disciple of Jesus’ either. He was being accused and crucified. How would you act? Peter is singled out often in the Bible and we tend to view him as a problem. Humans, like you and me, tend to not see ourselves as problems. Perhaps Peter was a problem… but I would never be. I study such things. Yesterday, we read about Judas and I wrote about how we are like him. Today, it is about Peter.

            I am a bit like Peter. I stumble through life, making blunders, and getting into situations that I did not choose. One alternative is to be a control freak… to keep everything in my court. That is not my style, but I can do it. One of Peter’s blunders happened on the Mount of Transfiguration. When He saw Jesus with Moses and Elijah, he blurted, “It is good, Lord, that we are here; We will build tents for the 3 of you.”  I have, characteristically, tried to help God with whatever I saw needed to be done. I have had to learn that God doesn’t need my help. He is God.

            Have you ever, unwittingly, denied Jesus by your choices or your words? You don’t have to admit it to me but you must admit it to God. Often when we admit a failure to someone, we add our excuses and people judge the excuse rather than the failure. Notice Peter’s reaction when he realized what he had done; he wept bitterly. The people near him didn’t care that he felt bad. It was not for them that he wept. He had failed his Lord and Master. He felt terrible. As we read on we learn that Jesus restored him and, in fact, he preached the first sermon of the church era. (Acts 2) Always be humble before God.