Many times when I read about Peter’s denial, different thoughts go through my head. Perhaps I dwell on this scene in Jesus’ final days because of my tendency to deny Him in my own life. I can relate to Peter – and not just because of this one situation.
Today as I read the account of Peter’s denial – my mind started thinking about how quickly and “innocently” the scene played out. I imagine it was dark, and there was confusion all around. Peter’s emotions had the best of him as evidenced by his jittery attempt to cut the head off of one of the soldiers in the garden. It was cold outside and his mind was probably spinning trying to weigh the impact of the events of the past few days.
Suddenly, and from my perspective very subtly, Peter is accused of knowing Jesus. Three times, in a few moments time, Peter was required to respond to this accusation. Three times, without realizing that what Jesus told him not long ago was even happening, Peter denied even knowing Jesus.
Can I bring up those infamous 4 words again? “It’s not about me” Did Peter have a choice to not deny Jesus? If he would have stood his ground and boldly proclaimed his love and loyalty for Jesus, would he have been killed? Would Jesus have been made a liar?
Still, Peter had to live with the guilt of what he had done – even after he told Jesus to His fact that he would follow Him to prison or to death. Busted!
But, Jesus knew just what to do. I never realized until I started doing the show, “The Rock & The Rabbi” that there is a special meaning embedded into scripture in relationship with Peter’s denial and when Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me” three times. Peter denied Jesus three times, Jesus asked Peter three times – in order to demonstrate to Peter in a powerful way that Jesus forgave him.
It happened so fast. Kind of like it happens to me today. I have an opportunity to stand up for what I believe, but to protect myself, or because I’m in a hurry, or because of any number of reasons, the moment passes and I’m left with disappointment in myself. How good to know that God is in control and that He IS love.
The encouragement today is – look for those moments and redeem the time. Take a chance and see how He can bless you and those around you.