Mark: According to
Peter Oh Peter
66 Now As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are saying,” and he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girls saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, “This is one of them.” 70 But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, “Surely you are one of them; for you are Galilean, and your speech shows it.” 71 Then he began to curse and swear, I do not know this Man of whom you speak!” 72 A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.
From this point forward Peter would not be known as Peter, but Peter the one who denied his Lord. Whenever he was introduced among the Christian believer’s tradition tells us that he was always introduced as “Peter, the one who denied his Lord.”
Peter was the oldest of the 12 disciples and was of rough character who was always willing to be the spokes person for the 12 and also was the one that declared Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. For this Jesus had said that Peter could only have known this by the working of the Holy Spirit on his heart. Yet throughout Jesus ministry his ability to speak up and be counted often had left him with what we would call his foot in his mouth.
Yet Peter loved Jesus with all his heart and desired to do that which was right and honorable, but it was Peter’s lack of faith that often got himself into trouble, causing him to say or do the wrong thing. It was his lack of faith that caused him to sink into the stormy waves of Galilee when he was walking toward Jesus. Peter for all his love, misunderstood the nature of Jesus mission and his lack of faith caused him to deny his Lord.
Peter was confused for he along with all the Jews were looking for the Messiah to be a conquering hero, one who would bring the Jewish nation back to prominence and restore the throne of David to a rightful heir instead of Herod. So you see, Jesus being bound by ropes and mistreated in such a way, to Peter, shook his faith in who Jesus really was and what His true mission on earth was to be.
Peter forgot the words of Christ, where he had told them he was to die and even gave them the manner of death he would suffer. Repeatedly He had told his disciples to pickup their cross and follow Him. He never at any times said life would be easy, instead He said, life with Him would be challenging, often you will be persecuted and tortured for your faith as, I will be persecuted and put to death.
The Jewish Economy was build upon the fact that Jesus was to come to earth, live His life and give of His life that all sins would be forgiven. Each evening and morning as a lamb was brought before the Priests to be slain, it was a representation of Christ, who is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world for the remission of sins.
But all this escaped the memory of Peter because Peter’s faith failed him and instead of looking toward Christ he thought of his own personal needs and safety. Yet as the rooster crowed for the second time, Peter remembered the words of Christ, “that before the rooster crowed twice, Peter would deny Him three times.” At that moment he looked into the eyes of Jesus and instead of seeing condemnation for what he had just done, Peter saw the tender love of Jesus mixed with sadness, and it broke his heart.
Peter was truly sorry for what he had done and began to weep bitterly, running from the place to the very spot that Jesus just a few hours ago had laid prostrate upon the ground pouring His heart out to His Father. Peter now sought forgiveness for the hurt that he had caused his Master and Lord. Peter with a heart heavy with guilt poured out a sincere prayer for forgiveness. Peter was frightened and alone. His whole world had been shattered in just a matter of a few hours, and as he lay prostrate upon the ground sobbing with tears of bitterness for his sin, he poured his heart out to God asking for forgiveness.
Peter’s sin was forgiven, but from this point forward throughout the rest of his ministry, he was known as Peter, the one who denied his Lord.
But there is a greater lesson for us to be learned from Peter denying his Lord. By Peter carelessly mingling with the crowd, he hoped to be taken for one of those who had brought Jesus to the hall. But as the light of the fire and torches flickered upon Peter’s face, the woman who kept the door cast a searching glance upon him. She had noticed that he came in with John, and she marked the look of dejection on his face, and thought that he might be a disciples of Jesus. She was one of the servants of Caiaphas’ household, and was curious to know. When she asked Peter, Peter became startled and confused as all the eyes of the company about him instantly fastened upon him. He pretended not to understand her; but she was persistent, and said to those around that this man was with Jesus. Therefore Peter felt compelled to answer, and said angrily. “Woman, I know Him not.” John who entered the hallway at the same time and actually gained passage for Peter did not try to conceal the fact that he was a follower of Jesus. He did not mingle with the rough company who were reviling his Master. He was not questioned for he did not assume a false character and thus lay himself liable to suspicion. He sought a corner from which to watch the proceedings and yet not be considered one of the crowd.
How often as Christians do we fail to set ourselves apart from the crowd but join in because we don’t want to be known as a Christian. Like Peter, our faith is weak, our reliance on Christ is less than it should be. Where ever we are there is an opportunity to be a witness for Christ, yet like Peter instead of standing up for what he believed, we tend to shrink into the crowd, to become one with the crowd instead of exercising our faith. And it is only by exercising our faith that our faith will grow.
Peter when his faith was tested failed and denied his Lord. Forever after he was known as Peter, the one who denied his Lord. Today we have the opportunity to exercise our faith and stand up for God in any situation that we may find ourselves in. Will you stand up for Jesus?