Obedience for joy
25 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it, saying, “No, I am not.”
26 But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?” 27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed.
As I read John chapter 18, my thoughts are drawn to Peter, and how he denied Jesus three times, I wonder what he must have he felt at that moment when he heard the rooster crow?
In chapter 13 he tells Jesus “I will die for you” and again in chapter 18 when he is in the garden with Jesus and the disciples. Then when Judas brought a mob to arrest Jesus, Peter immediately pulls out his knife and cuts a man’s ear off.
When Peter was with Jesus, he was so bold, but when he was away from Him and all alone things were different. Peter didn’t have that boldness like he had when he was with Jesus, he was afraid for his life.
Things are a lot different in our day and age. It seems like everybody is a Christian, and here in America, we’re not being put to death for being a Christian. But there are other ways that we deny Christ.
The word “denial” in the Greek is “arneomai” when translated to English means, “disavow, reject, abnegate: -deny, refuse.”
In a way, when we refuse to obey the Bible, we’re denying Christ not by our words, but by our actions. I don’t know about you, but when the Holy Spirit prompts me to do something in line with what the Bible says, and I don’t do it, I feel the same thing Peter felt: shame, guilt, unworthiness, and the pain of the question “Why would Jesus want to use me?”
But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus is crucified, buried, and He rose again on the third day. From there, He finds Peter in a boat fishing, cooks a meal for him on the shore, and begins to minister to him.
Jesus picked Peter up from his shame, guilt, unworthiness, and replaced it with love, joy, peace and comfort.
And Jesus does the same for us when we deny Him by not obeying Him.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9
In this new year, let’s make an effort to obey and not deny.
Father forgive me for denying You or not obeying Your word. Help me to be faithful to You and Your word. Help me to be the person You want me to be. Thank you for being there for me when I’m down. Thank You for the love, joy, peace, and comfort that You have given me. In Jesus name, amen.