“So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance.  The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, ‘This man was one of Jesus’ followers!’


But Peter denied it. ‘Woman,’ he said, ‘I don’t even know him!’


After a while someone else looked at him and said, ‘You must be one of them!’


‘No, man, I’m not!’ Peter retorted.


About an hour later someone else insisted, ‘This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.’


But Peter said, ‘Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.’ And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: ‘Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.’ And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.” Luke 24:54-62 (NLT)



Peter was in a high pressure situation. Jesus had just been arrested and was on trial, all while the darkness hovered around Peter. He went to the high priest’s home but did not get close to the crowd in order to avoid association. While he was watching, waiting, and observing, three people pointed their finger at him and associated him with Jesus. Peter was watching Jesus be put on trial, and he was trying to sort out all of these things. What would happen if he associated with Jesus? Would he experience the same treatment? In a split second, Peter denied his association with Jesus. The pressure continued to mount as others tried to point out his identity. And over the span of an hour, Peter did what he said he would never do; the rooster was a reminder of Jesus’ words that told Peter of this event that would come. When Jesus’ eyes connected with Peter, something changed inside of his heart. In light of seeing Jesus, he knew the fullness of what he had done. The pressure to fit in, not be noticed, and preserve his life resulted in deep sorrow.


This was the same person who Jesus had said in Matthew 16:18 (NLT), “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Didn’t Peter’s actions contradict God’s call on his life? Peter’s experience can tell us two things. First, God sees the best in us even when we can’t see it ourselves. Secondly, God’s grace is available to us as we come with a repentant heart and turn from our sin. After Jesus died and rose again, He met Peter on the beach for breakfast and gave him the opportunity to profess his love for Him three times. Isn’t that just like Jesus? When we would like our shortcomings to create a wedge between us and Jesus, Jesus comes to us and continually invites us into relationship with Him. Peter’s failure was not final; his story did not end here. As we face high pressure situations, it doesn’t always bring out the best in us. Instead of our actions aligning with our previous confessions, we can let the pressure get the best of us. When we come to Jesus with a repentant heart, we experience grace that we don’t deserve. At the point of your failure, your story does not have to be over; God’s grace and forgiveness is available to us if we simply ask. 

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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About Hona Amer

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