September 14, 2022 — Peter Wept. How About Me?

“Have you ever noticed,” Stan asked me one morning while we waited for breakfast, “how sometimes all four of the gospels cover the same thing, while at other times, only one or two of the gospels do that?”

“I have,” I replied, “And I’ve wondered if it means that something is more important if all of the gospels cover it.”

“I’m not sure about that,” Stan said, “but I do know of one story that is covered in all four gospels that has a huge impact on my faith walk.”

“Which one is that?”

“Peter’s denial of Jesus,” Stan replied.

“That one is a heartbreak,” I commented. “After walking closely with Jesus for three years, Peter denied even knowing Him when the going got tough, after Jesus was arrested and was on the way to the cross.”

“You’re right about that,” Stan replied. “But as soon as Peter realized what he had done, it says that he wept. And that’s a good lesson for me that I don’t follow often enough.”

“How so?”

“While my denial of Jesus may not be as blatant as Peter’s,” Stan replied, “there are certainly way too many times in my life where my thoughts, words, and actions are clear denials of Jesus, but I don’t weep the way I should.”

“Don’t weep the way you should?” I said. “How do you think you should weep?”

“With confession and repentance,” Stan said. “Confession and repentance that is bathed in the weeping tears of having denied Jesus.”

“Will that make a difference?” I asked.

“Much better chance of a difference than if I deny Jesus and go on about my day as if nothing had happened,” Stan replied rather solemnly.

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Bible verses to consider: 

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a certain servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” And when he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” And a little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away.” Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a cock crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the truth of the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus and how that relates to me. I confess that too often I deny even knowing Jesus by what I think, say, and do. Please forgive the foolishness of such denial. And please help me follow every step of your lead so I do not ever deny Jesus, but, instead, manifest Him to the watching world by all I think, say, and do. In addition, Father, I ask that if I do deny Jesus, you will lead me to weep bitter tears of confession and repentance. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of the One I am not to deny. Amen.

Think on this: Have you stopped denying Jesus in the eternal sense so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If no, why? If you have accepted God’s free and gracious provision of what Jesus accomplished on the cross, how are you doing with not denying Jesus by what you think, say, and do while you are on this side of eternity? If you sense the need for change in not denying Jesus — and/or the shedding of tears of confession and repentance when you do deny Him, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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