October 9

Text: Matthew 26:69-74

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a certain servant-girl came to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the Galilean."  But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about."  And when he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and *said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."  And again he denied it with an oath, "I do not know the man."  And a little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away."  Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know the man!" And immediately a cock crowed. (NASB)

Blind sided!  Tripped up in a way you never saw coming!  In Matthew 26:35 Peter declared he would die before he would deny Jesus.  In Matthew 26:51 he began to try to defend Jesus with a sword—Peter must have meant what he said.  When a fisherman takes on a large group of professional soldiers who were trained to kill, the fisherman is committed to death! 

When Jesus told him to put up his sword (Matthew 26:52), things changed.  Though he entered Caiaphas’ courtyard (Matthew 26:57, 58) and sat with the officers, Peter’s commitment to death was over.  Then he just wanted to see the outcome—rescuing Jesus was not possible!  Then death was a waste of life, not an act of courage.

What happened next was humiliating!  Confronting soldiers was courageous!  Being blindsided by servants was shocking in a disgusting way!  Two servant-girls and a bystander—you must be kidding!  Had you asked Peter when his test of courage came, he likely would have said in Gethsemane.  Perhaps in the courtyard he thought that test was past.

Note the progression in Peter’s denial.  First, he said, “I do not know what you are talking about.”  Second, he swore he did not know Jesus.  Third, he cursed and swore as he emphatically denied knowing Jesus.  Then the rooster crowed.  The impossible happened!  A rooster shocked Peter’s reality!

Commonly it is not the dramatic that fashions our most powerful temptations.  It is the mundane.  Jesus’ way often is not “the way I would do it."

Suggestion for reflection: Are you honest about how bad you are, or how much you need help?  (Read Psalm 14:1-6 and Romans 3:10-18.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell