from the denial reading plan

Text: Mark 14:26-31, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:10, John 21:17

BY Diana Stone

Text: Mark 14:26-31, Luke 22:54-62, John 18:10, John 21:17

When I think of Peter in the Bible, I often picture him as a best friend of Jesus – someone Jesus dearly loved in spite of his flaws, as only BFF’s can do. He could be a bit of a hothead, that Peter, like the time when the high priests came to take Jesus away for trial and “… Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave” (John 18:10, NLT). Jesus stepped in and rebuked Peter, reminding him that this was God’s will for Him as the Son. But they were friends; and Peter would do anything for his friend.

When Jesus began the process of saying goodbye to the men He loved so dearly, Jesus foretold that they would each leave Him at some point in the coming days. “All of you will desert me,” He said (Mark 14:27).

Passionate Peter emphatically rejects the thought. He can’t imagine he would ever do such a thing to his friend, but Jesus responds to him definitively, “I tell you the truth, Peter — this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me” (Mark 14:30, NLT).

How heavy the burden on Jesus’ heart must have been to know what He was about to suffer, what He was about to feel and see, but also to know in those moments His dear brothers would leave Him – deny even knowing anything about Him. It’s one thing to hear the crowd shout “hosanna!” only to be swayed to cries of “crucify him!” days later; and for Judas, the Betrayer, to hand him over with a kiss. It’s another to watch those who are closest to Him to walk away as He prepares to die in their stead.

Yet, Jesus loved them all – enough to die for them, eyes wide open.

When Peter denied Him the third time, the Bible says, “At that moment The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind” (Luke 22:61, NLT). And Peter wept. He didn’t run back and say, “Wait, I am a disciple of Jesus!” He turned away and cried.

We can only guess that a part of Peter finally understood how weak he really was in his faith, but the years after would grow and sanctify him into a man who was deeply committed to the Lord. He was one of the first to whom Jesus appeared after the resurrection, Jesus asking Peter to “feed [His] sheep” (John 21:17). And the first chapters of the book of Acts describe Peter’s leadership role among the disciples. His sermon at Pentecost in Acts 2 lead more than 3000 people to the Lord (Acts 2:37-47)!

The same Peter who denied Christ three times is the one God used to help establish the early Church.

As you seek the Lord in the coming days in preparation for Easter Sunday, remember God’s great love for Peter. He was a disciple – a great friend to Christ – and yet he fell short. Very short. And Christ loved him still – and called him to do great work for His Kingdom!

Isn’t God good to show us over and over again, even amidst the trial of His Son, that He loves us? When we are weak, He is strong. And He wants to use us in the great outworking of His plan for His glory!

Post Comments (52)

52 thoughts on "denial"

  1. Samantha says:

    PTL for his mercy and his love because I definitely don’t deserve it! Thank you God for loving me!

  2. lizbethjoy says:

    I love that He still uses to use us even through our failure! We may have messed up but He is not done with su yet!

  3. megan w says:

    I just got done writing in my journal about how I feel like a failure for not using this season of Lent to draw closer to Him. I haven't been visiting #SRT, or reading my Bible, I have been living the life I want instead of the one He wants for me.

    But then I decided to come read today's devotional. And what beautiful and powerful words! This is exactly exactly EXACTLY what I needed today. I felt so weak, but I needed the reminder that even Peter had he moments of weakness. And God loved him. And God loves me.

  4. journalsofavagabond says:

    "It’s another to watch those who are closest to Him to walk away as He prepares to die in their stead. Yet, Jesus loved them all – enough to die for them, eyes wide open."
    This caught me right in the gut. How often have I walked away from what He wanted, how often have I verbally proclaimed Him and yet denied Him by my lifestyle. And yet still, He loves. Still, beneath it all, His eyes are wide open and He embraces me no matter what I've done or haven't done, and He loves me. Loves like no other.
    Lord teach me this season to love like You do, eyes and arms wide open. Holding back nothing from those who need You.

  5. AnnaLee says:

    I'm going to get back on in a bit to look at everyone's comments, and then I might have more to say, haha, but wow.
    None of us here have a heart to discredit, deny or condemn Jesus to justify ourselves… yet we do. I can hear myself being Peter, emphatically crying out, "Lord, I love you! I would NEVER deny you! I would rather die!" and I would genuinely mean it. Yet, Jesus knows full well that we have, are, and will continue to deny him on a monthly… daily… hourly basis by justifying and pursuing sin. He knows just how prone our hearts are to wonder– and yet, He loves us enough to draw us back in each time with His love, power, grace and kindness. My faithfulness has nothing to do with His faithfulness. He delights in a heart that is bent toward Him, but even when we lose that battle to the flesh, He is ready and willing, waiting, to be faithful to us despite ourselves. Wow. Praise you, Jesus… Praise you… that your work done for me has nothing to do for me. I pray you'd help me to love you more and more, throwing off the flesh in pursuit of your Great Love. Amen.
    Be blessed, dear friends. I love you guys!

    1. megan w says:

      Amen! I know exactly how you feel. And His grace is enough! He will always be waiting for us. <3

  6. Bree says:

    I’ve fallen just as short as Peter and it’s a long, long way to my wretched bottom. Bitterness, anger jealously, selfishness and unbelief. I could go on and on. The list is quite long and painful. But today’s devotional and Bible text has shown me how gracious and good my God is.
    I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that God sees the whole of my life. All the good bad and otherwise. He knows the REAL me and His grace covers ALL of me in my mess.

    Lord, I stand in awe of Your love and grace in my life. It’s such a glorious sight! Thank You Jesus that You promise to never leave me or forsake me. Lord, I give You praise and honor for all of the blessings You’ve given me: my health, my amazing son, Brandon, my ministry and so much more! Loving You today Lord with a heart full and overflowing because of Your love. In Jesus Name! Amen.

  7. Kimmy says:

    "The same Peter who denied Christ three times is the one God used to help establish the early Church."

    This statement really sticks out to me…it amazes me and reminds once again how great our God is! Time after time, mistake after mistake…He is still there with open arms ready to love on little ole me! Thank you Lord for your everlasting mercy!!!

  8. Sol says:

    As I read this, all I want to do is cry! Cry tears of sadness for all He went through, cry tears of happiness for what He did for us! It is still amazing how even in my moments where I act like Peter He still loves me and wants to use me! Thank you for this amazing message!!!!

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