“Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?”
Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.
John 18:26b-27, NLT*
Peter loved Jesus. I’m sure he wholeheartedly meant his earlier vow that he’d never deny his Lord. (Matthew 26:31-35)
Yet here he was, doing that very thing. Matthew’s account says Peter’s denial was so intense it involved cursing. And that when the rooster crowed and he realized what he’d done, he fled, “weeping bitterly.” (Matthew 26:69-75)
Why did he do it? Was he afraid? Or was he trying to stay “under cover” in case there was a chance to rescue Jesus?
Whatever his motivation, Peter’s denial came because he was acting on his own initiative and in his own strength.
Isn’t that when we get into trouble, too?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT*
Our best intentions can blow up in our faces. Peter’s experience reminds us how important it is to learn to listen to and rely on the Lord. He also reminds us of Jesus’ loving forgiveness when we mess up (see John 21).
Our God and Saviour, Your grace to forgive is beyond our understanding, but we receive it gladly and we rely on it often. Teach us to walk closer to You, to trust You instead of ourselves. Slow us down to listen before we leap. Make us people after Your own heart.
*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.