Day 23 – Peter denies that Jesus is his friend
Bible reading: Luke 22:54–62
Peter says that he does not know Jesus
Delighted to have captured Jesus without a problem, the soldiers hurried him to the leader priest’s house. It was a cold spring night and the people of the household had a fire in the courtyard to warm themselves. Walking quietly a long distance behind them came Simon Peter. Cold and very confused by what had happened, he tried to warm himself at the fire. But that was a big mistake. He was recognized.
Denied three times
Not once but three times the people said to Peter that he was a friend of Jesus. Three times he denied it with curses. And then the rooster crowed! Peter had boasted earlier that night that he would follow Jesus to death if necessary. And Jesus had predicted that before the rooster crowed, Peter would deny that he knew him three times. Well, he did. Why? Absolute terror. Crucifixion was the most terrible way to die. Peter thought it would happen to Jesus, and feared it would happen to him if he admitted being a friend of Jesus.
Pride comes before a fall, and Peter had lost all his pride and courage. He went out and wept bitterly.
To its great credit, the Roman Catholic Church has a painting of Peter’s denial at the front of St Peter’s Church in Rome. It does not hide the failure of Peter whom the church is named for.
But what a warning to us all of the disastrous failures that pride, lies and disloyalty can lead us into.