Spiritual Director · August 3, 2017

Devote #75

Have you ever been so sure of yourself, but failed?

Have you ever stood your ground with such conviction, but then when it was your time, you broke down?

I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve all suffered from a total meltdown, where instead of sitting down we should have stood up… instead of remaining quiet we should have spoke up… and instead of doing nothing we should have jumped into action… but we didn’t.

As I was reading Luke 22 today, I thought of Peter, that rooster and myself.

Jesus told the disciples they were going to be tested by Satan. And this is what He says to Simon Peter,

“But Simon, I have prayed that your faith will be strong. And when you have come back to Me, help the others.”
—Luke 22:32

Talk about putting a guy on the spot. This is a direct, personal challenge, and Peter thought he was up to it. He shoots right back at Jesus how he’s not going to fold and as a matter of fact, he’d even go to jail with Jesus and die with Jesus if he had too.

It’s then Jesus has to inform Peter,

“… before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” —Luke 22:34

You can almost feel the tension and the disbelief of Peter.

I can almost sense him thinking that that was never going to happen, without verbalizing it. There was no way he would say anything like that. He loved Jesus and was so sure he could withstand the test of time. There was no way this was going to happen. But it did!

After they arrested Jesus and took him to the house of the high priest, Peter followed. He was in the courtyard of this residence with some others who had started a fire to keep warm. From the courtyard, Peter could see what was happening to Jesus. He might not have been able to hear much of anything, but he could see the guards brutality as they mistreated Jesus. That had to weigh heavily on Peter’s mind.

Then, without any warning, some servant girl blurts out something about Peter being with Jesus and his only gut instinct reaction is to flat out deny it. That’s one!

A little while later, and remember Peter is still got his eyes fastened on what’s happening to Jesus, someone else accuses Peter of being with Jesus, and he blurts out, “No, I’m not!” That’s two!

As Peter is watching everything that’s happening, moving around, trying to get a better viewpoint, he’s confronted a third time. Another person identifies him as being connected with Jesus, and Peter spouts out, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” That’s three! And you know the next sound you’re about to hear.

The death blow occurs as we read,

“The Lord turned and looked at Peter.” —Luke 22:61

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

There are many ways to deny Jesus. Not all of them use words. Keep your faith strong and your testimony sure, because Christ is counting on you.

Forgive me for the times I deny You, whether in word or in actions. Holy Spirit, help me keep my faith strong. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.