Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.” But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.
Standing up for Christ hasn’t gotten much easier since Peter denied Him thousands of years ago. Christians are still being persecuted in countries. In the US, Christians are also being persecuted. We might not be executed in the streets daily, but we are persecuted online and on social media for standing on the Word of God. If we speak against a sin the world is comfortable with, the back lash we receive is tremendous.
In this scripture, Peter denied Jesus three times just as Jesus predicted. We can understand why Peter denied Christ. He was scared. He was being led strictly by his flesh and emotions. We can relate to him because we are also often led by our flesh.
The first time the girl asked Peter if he knew Jesus, Peter pretended as if he had no idea what she was talking about. How many times have we done that? I know I’m guilty of pretending like I’m clueless. A co-worker asks, “Do you think it’s ok for me to cheat on my husband because he’s cheating on me?” To avoid proclaiming Christ and having a conversation that will lead to them knowing who I represent. I would pretend to not really understand what they are talking about. I would say something like “I’m not sure”. But in reality, I know the answer to her question, “No” and “No!” But sometimes we feel it’s easier to pretend we don’t know something instead of taking that opportunity to proclaim Christ and stand on what we know to be true. These are missed opportunities to proclaim Christ. Are we failing tests because we’d rather pretend to be clueless?
The second time the girl asked, Peter denied Christ again. Now we know, most people don’t let us get off that quick with our “I don’t know” answer. If you are truly a follower of Christ, they know there is something about you that stands out. They know you have an opinion. They can see Him in you and are curious. Will you outright deny Him, when they confront you? Your co-worker could say, “I’m gonna tag you in my FB post so you can read all about how he got caught up. I know you probably think I shouldn’t cheat on my husband. I heard you go to church every Sunday. So I know what you think!”. Do you take the opportunity to stand for Christ at that time? Or do you concede to your flesh and say, “I don’t have an opinion”, which, in essence, is denying Christ a second time.
The third time the girl asked, Peter cursed to get his point across. I can imagine by this time Peter was not only afraid, he was annoyed. Who is this little girl asking all these questions trying to get him caught up? He’s just trying to chill and not get killed. Peter’s flesh lashed out at the girl. Hoping, that if he cursed they would surely know he wasn’t with Jesus. Because Jesus would never speak in such a manner.
Now I can imagine if my co-worker kept bugging me, asking me for my opinion, I might go off. My flesh would want to say anything to shut her up and get her off my back. This happens so often! We deny Christ by not taking our stand for what is right. We shy away from the conversation that would let the world know who we represent and what we stand for.
How can we save the world without showing them there is something to be saved from?
The Word of God isn’t all daisies and roses. The Word speaks of love and grace, but it also talks about hell. How can we save the world without showing them there is something to be saved from?
How many times have you denied Christ today? My prayer is to never deny Christ. Denials in today’s world can appear minimal and you may think to yourself, “I’ve never denied Christ.” But…
- Do you call out your friends, when you know they’re wrong? If you know your friend is stepping out on her husband. Do you reach out to her in love and let her know what she is doing goes against the word of God? Do you reach out to her and let her know the consequences of adultery? When she tells you about their romantic evening; do you use that opportunity to represent Christ or do you shy away from taking a stand?
- Will you show your support for a Christian minister who is bashed because they preached about adultery, fornication or homosexuality? Why not? When your friend tagged you in the post, did you like it? Did you proclaim to be a child of God and support what the Word of God proclaims or would you shy away from taking a stand in love?
If you’ve done anything similar to these things, you have denied Christ. He gives us so many opportunities to take a stand. But we don’t because of fear.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV)
We are scared we will lose our friends, our reputations, our followers, and sometimes even our family members. Let’s not forget, this is a battlefield! Every day we must be ready to take a stand in love on the Word of God. Holiness is still right and wrong is still wrong. God will give you the power to overcome fear!
So many times we are afraid to take a stand because we ourselves are guilty of doing the same thing which is wrong. I can testify to this. How can we be a witness when we are still tied down in our mess? If this is you, stop denying Christ. You’ve not only denied Him to the world, you’ve denied Him to yourself. Do you know Him? Sometimes we have to check ourselves. Are we denying Him because we really don’t know Him or are we denying Him out of fear?
The amount of regret that hit Peter when he realized he denied Christ three times just as Jesus predicted was unbearable. He shed tears thinking about what he had done and what he promised Jesus. He told Jesus, he would never deny Him! (Mark 14:31) But when the test came, Peter failed.
Peter’s denial makes me think of all the tests I failed because of my fear to take a stand on the Word of God. When I became a Christian and turned my life over to Christ, I made a promise to follow Him and serve Him until death. But I have failed in so many ways. Thank God for His grace! Even though Peter failed this test he passed so many others. Will you choose, as of today, to represent Christ 100%? With each test, with each social media post, with each friend, I will represent Him. I will stand on His Word. The world will know who I am, who I represent and what the Lord has said!
I choose to do just that from this day forward. I may lose some friends. I may be talked about. They may even try to pull up my past. But, that won’t stop me from standing on the truth! I dare you to be like Peter. Accept the failure of denying Christ. Cry if you have to. But use that failure as fuel to represent Him like you’ve never done before.
The Word says everyone who denies Christ on earth will be denied by Christ in Heaven (Matthew 10:33). Don’t deny Christ. Let the world know, without a doubt, you know Him through your words, actions, and daily stand on the Word of God.