Falling Short in Denial


Following Jesus and representing Jesus every day requires dedication.  And humility.  Peter teaches us today that pride goes before a fall.  He denied Jesus after saying he would stand with him forever.  The good news is that when we fall short, Jesus restores us.

54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”

57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”

60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:54-62

We deny Jesus with our voices sometimes and other times we deny him with our lives.  A person asked me this week whether it is a religious problem for me if she goes to a casino to gamble. When she asked I could tell this was a represent or deny Jesus moment.

I told her about how I am two rolls of quarters into my gambling career.  One roll in Edmonton and one roll in Orillia, Ontario.  Both times when I got to my last quarter, I started patting my pockets to see if I had another.  I told her I could see why some people have a problem stopping. She was relieved, almost as if I was part of her club, and said she was glad I wasn’t going to judge her for going…

Denying Jesus in that situation would have been acting all self-righteous and judgy.  That’s not what Jesus would do.  Jesus was accepting and engaging.  Not standoffish and judgmental.

Other times I have stayed quiet when I should have spoken up.  Or acted out when I should have restrained myself.  Following Jesus and representing Jesus every day requires dedication.  We can see, even with Peter, that the closest to Jesus have a hard time representing him every day.  Part of Peter’s issue was that he didn’t think he would deny Jesus.  Pride goes before a fall…

And when we fall, the feeling is just like Peter in vs. 62: we experience a sorrow of heart for letting down our Lord.  The good news is that Peter was restored by Jesus and affirmed by his Lord in John 21.  When we deny Jesus in life, he will restore us.  Look to God to repair the sorrow of your heart and live for the Lord today.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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