Peter Disowns Jesus

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Then the servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also as with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.”

Luke 22:56-57

In early 2012, I was sitting in an east African hotel with my new friend, “E.” E was born into an unreached people group, but along the way had discovered the Good News of Jesus. He immediately converted, the first of his particular clan. It was unheard of, he said, a clanmember turning from the prophet to follow Jesus. “After all,” he said “to be a clan member is to be Muslim.”

E told of the excitement of his conversion, how he boldly shared his faith with his people and was threatened with death. He would not recant, he said, and as a result, he was bound, hands to feet, and dunked in the river over and again. Holding fast to his faith, E was held under the water until his fellow clansmen believed him to be dead, and he was left for dead on the banks of the river.

By some miracle, E survived the experience. If you ask him how he held firm, E will tell you that the power of the Holy Spirit filled him, allowed him to stand firm even under the penalty of death. E will tell you that he’s never been closer to Christ than that moment.

Peter, the rock upon whom the church was built, was not quite so strong the first time around. But perhaps things were different before the resurrection; maybe he held his confession more loosely before he was filled with the Holy Spirit, the helper promised by Jesus in John 14:16-17. Whatever the case, we know the rest of the story. Ultimately, Jesus forgave Peter and charged him with shepherding the fledgling church. (See John 21:15-17.) What grand grace and restoration from the Savior whom Peter had denied!

But ask yourself this question, if the day should come when you would be tempted to deny the Lordship of Christ, would you stand under torment like E? Or instead, would you cower before a lowly servant girl; would you buckle under the pressure?

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you found yourself in a situation where it’s convenient to deny Christ for the sake of culture? If so, what was your response? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you times when you’ve denied Christ, whether in word or in deed. Confess those times and ask for forgiveness and restoration. Do you believe God can forgive you like Christ did Peter? Ask God whether there is someone to whom you need to specifically confess the lordship of Christ. What part of your faith story would resonate with this person?

PRAYER: Lord, give me the courage of martyrs, the strength of those who have owned your name. And in my sin, when I have failed to acknowledge you, grant me the grace of your eternal forgiveness and the peace that you have cast my sin as far as east is from west. Amen.