“And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” But again he denied it. And after a little while, the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly, you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” — Mark 14:66-71
I have often wondered what it must have been like to be one of the 12 disciples. To hear Jesus speak, watch Him heal the sick, see Him demonstrate power over Nature… To actually stand atop the Mount of Transfiguration with Him and catch a glimpse of His majesty — how glorious it would have been!
Surely, their faith would have been strong and their courage invincible, knowing that this was no ordinary man with them, but the Son of God Himself. And yet, in His darkest hour, they all panicked and fled. Even worse, Peter denied ever knowing Him — not once, but thrice! What could have caused him to do that, despite knowing Him so well for three whole years?
But then I am reminded that I am guilty of the same sin. How many years have I known my Lord? Far more than three, that’s for sure. Yet, how often do I live as though I barely know Him? My thoughts, my words and my attitude are constant reminders of how I deny Him daily.
My thoughts, my words and my attitude are constant reminders of how I deny Him daily
But that’s when my precious Lord reminds me that, even when I fail, He is unfailing in His love for me. That I have plenty to grow into, and that He is not done with me yet. Just like He was not done with Peter!
Peter may have denied the Lord then, but his story does not end there. In fact, the best was yet to come. In Acts 4, Peter stands in front of thousands of people and proclaims the gospel. He is even imprisoned and brought before the rulers, elders and teachers of the Law. He has every reason to fear, for these are the same people who sentenced His Lord and Rabbi to be crucified.
Yet this is not the same Peter who once swore and cursed when a mere young servant girl confronted him about his relationship with Jesus. This new Peter fearlessly preaches about Christ being the only way of salvation and even accuses them of what they did to Him! This time around, no one had any doubts who this ‘Galilean’ had been with. Acts 4:13 says, “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
So what brought about this drastic transformation in him? The secret lies in Acts 4:8: “Then Peter, ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’, said to them…” We may never be called to preach in front of thousands of people but each of us are called to reflect Christ through our seemingly ordinary lives. We could spend years attending worship meetings and being involved in church ministries; recite any story from the Bible without blinking — yet have no visible change in our lives. It is not enough to know Him superficially, Jesus Christ has to become our way of life.
The new Peter fearlessly preached Christ — and this time around, no one had any doubts who this ‘Galilean’ had been with
That requires a lot of faith and courage too! When we acknowledge our helplessness to follow Him on our own, the Holy Spirit grants us grace upon grace. He changes our priorities, our desires and gives us the courage to be different from others. “For God gave us a Spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” — Timothy 1:7.
The Holy Spirit compels us so that we cannot help but act and speak and do what He wants (Acts 4:20). This same power that was given to Peter is promised to us too, if we only but ask! Let’s take a moment to look into our lives and truly ask ourselves: Do I just profess with my lips that I am a Christian and live my life denying Him — or is my life so full of Him that people can’t help noticing that I have been with Jesus?
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