Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 14:53-65, Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:66-72, Matthew 26:69-75, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:25-27, Mark 15:1, Matthew 27:1-2, Luke 22:66-71, Matthew 27:3-10
Heavenly Father, I really feel bad for Peter:
Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”
But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.
A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”
Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.
Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly. —Matthew 26:69-75
Peter’s words “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you” (Matthew 26:34) waved the red flag to Satan, the enemy of Peter’s soul. Satan said “Game On” and crafted a plan to get Peter to do the very thing that he never wanted to do—deny his Lord.
The same evil that caused Judas to betray Jesus caused Peter to deny Him. Satan used fear to get his plan accomplished in Peter’s life. He was afraid for his life, afraid for Jesus, afraid for the future and afraid of failure.
Jesus, Matthew recorded Your conversation with Peter (Matthew 16:17-19) where You changed his name and said You will build Your church upon this rock (Peter). I’m sure Peter thought his denial disqualified him for Your calling but the next time You saw him You did his first training session on building Your church (my interpretation) and there was no mention of denial, roosters, or fireside chats, just a check to make sure he still loved You and a charge to get to work and feed Your sheep.
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. —John 21:15-17
Lord, we all go through times of fear and doubt. We all make mistakes. Many times we choose the same path as Peter. We make grand claims to love and serve You at all costs and then we adversity strikes, we deny You. But that does not diminish Your plans for us. You’re not even surprised by it. You understand the spiritual battle that’s raging much better than we do.
Lord, help me to realize the only way I can fail is to quit. Help me to learn from my mistakes and grow beyond them.
In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!
©2014, Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Mark 15:2-5, Matthew 27:11-14, Luke 23:1-2, John 18:28-40, Mark 15:6-15, Matthew 27:15-26, Luke 23:13-25, John 19:1-16, Mark 15:16-20, Matthew 27:27-31, Luke 22:63-65