Denying Jesus

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.

Matthew 26:72

Peter’s denial of Jesus was even more painful and poignant given the fact that Jesus had predicted it and Peter had strongly denied that he would do it (Matt. 26:33-35). It’s not hard to understand the fear that motivated Peter to deny the Lord. Jesus had just been arrested, and his death was imminent. If Peter had acknowledged his connection with Jesus, his own life would be in jeopardy. So he did what he had sworn he would not do, denying Jesus, not just once, but three times.

I have never been in a position like that of Peter, where my life was on the line because of my faith. Thus I have never been tempted to deny Jesus exactly as Peter did. But there have been many times in my life when I have denied Jesus in more subtle ways. With my words, I have sometimes backed away from bearing witness to him when I feared for my reputation. With my deeds, I have sometimes acted in ways contrary to his teaching. My desire for people to approve of me has at times been stronger than my love for my Lord.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever been tempted to deny Jesus in one way or another? What happened? What helps you to remain faithful when you’re tempted to hide your faith?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, though I haven’t denied you as openly as Peter did, we both know there have been many times when I have nevertheless denied you. I have hidden my faith when I should have spoken up. I have acted more to gain human approval than to bear witness to you through my deeds. Forgive me, Lord!

Give me courage to speak and live for you at all times and all places. Help me to place your approval above that of people.

Give me wisdom to know how best to speak and live for you. Help me especially in situations that are fraught with complications. May I always speak and live the truth in love. Amen.