S (Scripture): Luke 22:54 Then they arrested Jesus, led him away, and brought him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55 When they had made a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a slave girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man was with him too!” 57 But Peter denied it: “Woman, I don’t know him!” 58 Then a little later someone else saw him and said, “You are one of them too.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 And after about an hour still another insisted, “Certainly this man was with him, because he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61 Then the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
O (Observation): Jesus is arrested and will soon be on trial. In the meantime, Jesus’ followers struggle with how to move forward in a time of uncertainty. After all, Jesus is the son of God…but now he’s been arrested…
Peter claims to be of a strong will, but in the face of pressure, he claims not to know Jesus. Why? Lots of possible reasons, but the fact remains that he has denied Jesus three times…just as the cock crowed.
Peter’s reaction is to flee and weep bitterly. He is unhappy with himself. As the cock crows, he remembers that Jesus said Peter would deny knowing Jesus. Peter is ashamed…afraid.
A (Application): God calls us his own, in baptism. But we know that all of us deny knowing Christ at many points. When Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him, I don’t think Jesus was saying that he didn’t want Peter as a disciple. I think Jesus looks to us and while we disappoint God, Jesus sticks with us.
Perhaps the lessson for Peter is the same for us: no matter how much we choose God, we will fall short. The result: we must rely on God choosing us. God remembers the covenant God made with us in baptism. That will never be forsaken.
I can tell you times when I’ve been rude to others and chosen evil over good. Ashamed? Yes… Hope I never do it again… but if my salvation relied on my efforts, I’d be in deep, deep trouble. Instead, my faith informs me that I will fail, and God will bring me to Him again and again.
When have you felt this sense of shame and hope?
P (Prayer): Lord, how patient you are! Forgive us when we fall away. Amen.