Matthew 26:69–75 (ESV)
Peter Denies Jesus
Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.”
71And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72And again he denied it with an oath: “I
do not know the man.” 73After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74Then he began to invoke a curse
on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out
and wept bitterly.
We all can learn from Peter. Peter was quick with his mouth to say that he would
never deny Jesus… but Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times. Not one, but three times. Peter could not believe it, He would never deny Jesus. I hear a lot of bold statements coming from Christians that are a set up for
disaster. I hear people say that you must “dedicate” yourself to the Lord, or you must “surrender” to the Lord. I realize that their words are bold, but they are worthless. We are sinners! We all fall short of
the glory of God. Every time we sin… we are denying Jesus. We are choosing to do it our way instead of His way. I remember the men’s movement called “Promise Keepers” and it was filled with great intentions.
The more truthful name should have been “Promise Breakers.” Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to douse anyone’s fire. Instead of focusing on “our” holiness, we need to focus on God’s Holiness. We
do not get into heaven off of our good deeds, good intentions, or how righteous we try to be. We are saved by God’s grace and mercy. We do not get into heaven based on what we do for God, but on what God has already done for us. Peter,
an apostle of Christ… fell from his denials. When the rooster crowed… Peter’s heart melted. They all fell. It is Jesus that comes back and restores him. We do try to stop sinning… it is part of repentance,
but we are not saved by our own actions… but Christ’s life, death, and resurrection.
I pray: O Lord, we are often like Peter and make bold
claims and promises. We, like Peter, hear our own rooster crowing when we look into the mirror and see ourselves for who we really are. Help us to receive the forgiveness that was won on the cross. Help us to cling to your Word and sacraments.