Wednesday – March 16, 2016
Day 36 – John 18:19-27
Focus: vs. 25
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”
The phrasing of that question to Peter was kind of convoluted but its import was understood by Peter who promptly denied that he was one of Jesus’ disciples. He was in a kind of precarious position but still feeling somewhat anonymous thus somewhat safe. This is Peter’s second denial with one more to come before the rooster would crow. I somehow think of that rooster as being Satan crowing over the defeat of this disciple of Jesus. Remember that Peter was certain he would not deny Jesus even when the Lord told him he would do so.
Have you ever tried to be anonymous even when all those around you knew who you were and what you stood for? I remember one time very clearly and I believe I have shared it with those who read these devotionals in a previous year. Even though I did not actually deny my Lord, I did not stand up for Him either. When asked why I carried my Bible to school I stumbled over my answer only to be “rescued” by a Catholic friend of mine. It was a defining moment in my relationship with Christ as I felt like I had denied Him. Thankfully we serve a forgiving God or neither Peter nor I would have ever received forgiveness. Peter’s forgiveness comes later after the Resurrection but mine came much sooner as I was under the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
The third denial comes when Peter is confronted by a relative of the man whose ear he had cut off in the Garden Of Gethsemane. Things were getting sticky for Peter and that is when the rooster crowed and Peter left the High Priest’s palace and went out and wept over his actions, according to the other gospel accounts. Denial can take many forms all the way from passiveness that we are not with Jesus to deliberately lying to keep from being allied with him for fear of what would come our way. We may even do something we really know Jesus would not approve of to prove we are not a part of Him. For Peter, the crowing of the rooster was a reminder of Jesus’ prophecy that he would deny the Christ.
We deny Who Jesus is when we deny our relationship with Him. Think for a while on how many forms this denial might take and whether or not you have used any of them. It could be as simple as not speaking up for what is right in Jesus’ name. Are you being bold in standing up for Jesus and His teachings?
Prayer Focus: Holy Father, I have examined myself and have found that I have not always been true to my Savior and Lord. Forgive me for those sinful acts of omission and commission which I done. Thank You for Your mercy and the restoration of joy in our relationship. AMEN.