Who Me? Deny Jesus?
Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples. (Matthew 26:33-35, NRSV)
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before all of them, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” When he went out to the porch, another servant-girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are also one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:69-75, NRSV)
How many times have you read or heard the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus and thought “How could he do that?” Or maybe even “I would never do that”?
I confess to those thoughts. But it would be better if I thought something more along the line of “Lord, if Peter would do that, just think what I would have done.” I like to think that I am a committed, faithful person, but deep within me lives fear and the desire for social approval.
Lent is a time for reflection and confession. Lord, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Lord, forgive my unfaithfulness under pressure. Lord, grant me the strength through your Spirit to bear witness to you in what I say and what I do.
Let’s just say, it will be a good day for me if I ever become as faithful as Peter.
Submitted by David Sherwood
For further reflection, today we’re reading John 12:12-19 in our community lenten reader.