by: Steve Fawcett
14. Welcome to day 14 of our 4 week prayer adventure.
The stories from this Passion week are very passionate, strongly emotional stories; no less is the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Matt. 26:69-75. Verse 74 says: “Then he (Peter) began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know the Man.’ And immediately the rooster crowed.” Let me mention 3 practical lessons from this story.
1. It teaches us the best of saints are still human. Peter’s sin was great. He had even been warned ahead of time yet he still denied Jesus 3 times. He seemed to be under no threat of violence yet it was enough to overthrow his faith.
2. Notice the steps that led to his downfall. The first step was being overly self-confident. Earlier he had said that even if everyone else denies Jesus, he never would. The second step was laziness. Jesus had told him to watch and pray, instead, what did he do? He slept. The third step was acting cowardly. At first he was close to His Master, then he ran away from Him, then he followed but at some distance. A fourth step was compromising. He put himself squarely in the company of godless men and women as though he were one of them, when he sat down with the guards. He was unwilling to identify with Jesus. The last step was his cursing and swearing and actually denying Jesus, not just once, but 3 times. Please note that people don’t usually fall into some great sin or trouble all of a sudden, it is usually the result of some secret backsliding in their heart. ‘People fall in private long before they fall in public.’
3. Note the emotional effect it had on Peter. He went out and wept bitterly. Notice the close connection between unhappiness and departing from God. When a person walks away from God, it leads to an uneasy conscience, a lack of peace and many inner doubts in their quiet moments. But his weeping also shows his sorrow, which led to his repentance. Many follow Peter in denying Jesus, but far fewer follow Peter in his repentance.
When we or a fellow believer falls, let us remember the Savior of Peter still lives. There is mercy available for us, but we must repent and seek that mercy and when we do we joyfully discover that God’s compassions never fail!