33Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”34Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”35“No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!”Matthew 26:33-35
A dark line was drawn in the sand!
69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”70But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said. 73A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.” 74Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.Matthew 26:69-75
The dark line was crossed. Guilt and remorse make us do funny things!
What could have happened differently? Of course, Peter could have owned that he knew Jesus. Is there anything else that might have helped him?
I recall a time many years ago when my children were babies. It often happened during church that my husband or I ended up in the lobby with whoever was the youngest. The children were pretty normal, they didn’t do well for the long service and we didn’t have childcare during the service.
There were always others in the lobby too. In particular, the ushers doing their official usher duties — whatever that was. I often ended up in conversation with one of them.
About this same time, gossip circulated about a young mother and an usher in another church who had an affair. Upon hearing this news, a friend of mine vowed that would never happen to her — she was disgusted by it. I was also disappointed in this news, but I found in my spirit a soft spot for this mother. I saw how easily it could happen. Little snippets of conversation here and there, attraction develops and grows and soon something happens you didn’t set out to experience.
I decided my best defense was to admit that it could happen to me. I wasn’t unhappy in my marriage and I didn’t desire for feelings to develop for anyone else, but I knew I had to actively safeguard my relationship. I saw my own weakness and started sending Dave into the lobby with the baby. I took myself out of a potentially troublesome scenario.
Perhaps if Peter had given himself the room to be honest with himself. Maybe just maybe, the night would have turned out differently. I don’t know.
Are you making bold declarations about something that you will or will not do? Do you have difficulty seeing your own vulnerability? Perhaps seeing it as a weakness to hide or ignore?
I invite you to step into a place of deep honesty. It’s scary but it will make all the difference!