In chapter 14 of Mark, we read about Jesus being drug around during his overnight trial. Everywhere He goes, Peter follows Him at a distance. Technically, Peter is still a follower of Jesus at this point. But, as you read the story, the drama ramps up as Peter is accused of that very thing, three times. Three times he is called out for knowing Jesus, and three times he denies Him. Of course, Jesus told him ahead of time that he would do this. When Peter remembers it, it breaks him.
What kind of horrible person would be warned by Jesus that they would deny Him, only to turn around and do that very thing over the next few hours? I mean, Peter had told Jesus that no matter what, he would never run or turn his back on Jesus. Then, he does. How can Peter even call himself a follower of Jesus?! He talks a good talk, but then when a little opposition comes his way, he bails on Jesus and just tries to blend in. What a wimp!
Isn’t that what we are supposed to think? Maybe not.
Ok, we are not going to be accused by a servant girl standing next to a bonfire at three a.m. anytime soon. In fact, most of us will never be accused of following Jesus at any point in our lives.
Which is worse? Being repeatedly accused, and denying it? Or never even earning the accusation?
Why don’t we get lumped in with Jesus by people? Why don’t we make it far enough to earn the right to be called out?
Yeah, I know, that’s a little tough. Let’s move on.
So, if we won’t get outed by a fire pit, how does this apply to us? You understand, it wasn’t the girl calling Peter out and playing on his fear, it was Satan. He calls us out all the time. When things get rough, you hear the voice calling you to run to anything other than Jesus. It calls you to turn your back on Jesus and run to the internet, Facebook, your friends, your spouse, your garage, that bottle, the TV, whatever. It calls you to deny that Jesus is the answer, and look elsewhere in the dark for your hope. Jesus warns us over and over that this will happen. Yet we keep falling for it.
Peter saw Jesus about to die. He didn’t know about the resurrection. Jesus had told him, but He didn’t believe it quite yet. His faith could have carried him through that night. All he had to do was say, “Yes, I follow Jesus”. That’s it. One time, and he would have averted the whole thing.
The same is true for us. When we are faced with that voice, that call, that push to run from Jesus, we need to stop, and say “No, I will stay here. I am with Jesus. He will see me through.”
Where is the place you need to stand today? What is it that you need to refuse to listen to?
Remember, the sun always rises. Especially on Sundays.