As we go through the Gospel of Luke, we just saw that Jesus was arrested. Then He was taken to the high priest for questioning. At this point in the narrative Luke makes an interesting comment about Peter.
Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.
Luke 22:54 NIV
This is the same Peter who said he would die with Christ, if necessary. He was the one who was always so outspoken about his faith in the Lord. Yet here he’s seen shrinking back into the shadows.
This begs the question about our walk with Jesus. We are always so quick to point out that we follow Christ. What does that mean to you? The real question is, “How closely are you following?” Peter was following Him, but far enough away so that it wasn’t obvious that he was with the Lord.
So often we don’t want it to be seen as different from the world. We want to blend in with society. We don’t want to get too radical in our Christian walk. Is that the way it’s supposed to be?
I believe that if we’re going to follow Christ, then we must live openly for Him. Even the most casual observer should be able to recognize that there is a difference in how we go about our daily routines.
People aren’t shy at all about using foul language, or other ungodly activity. Christians, on the other hand, are so worried about “offending” anyone. We should not be afraid of praying or talking about Christ in public. We need to stop following Him at a distance.
But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
Luke 22:55-57 NIV
What a response! This is the same man who vehemently said that he would die before denying Christ. Why would he do this?
I believe that Peter is no different than any of us. As he sat there watching the proceedings, he began to go over all of the possible outcomes in his mind. He saw that it was the Pharisees’ intention to put the Lord to death.
His whole focus now became; how to save himself.
Later on, others asked Peter if he was one of the disciples of Jesus.
A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Luke 22:58-60a NIV
His mind was dwelling on self preservation. What makes me say this?
If you look at Peter’s answer, you’ll see what I’m talking about. What he gave as a response was actually a legal phrase. It was what a witness would say in a trial if they hadn’t seen what they were being asked about. He gave a well-thought-out answer. He had definitely been rehearsing what he was going to say.
Then, suddenly, the truth of what he had done hits him.
Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:60b-62 NIV
I don’t know why this happens. When it comes to sin, we don’t realize the weight of it until after we’ve fallen. Then we feel upset and guilty about it. That’s the time to take care of it.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV
Don’t wallow in guilt and regret. As soon as you realize your sin, repent and be free of it. God doesn’t need time to “cool off”. The Holy Spirit is with you to bring forgiveness and restoration. The quicker you repent, the quicker you can get back on your spiritual feet again.
Question: What has the Lord taught you about quick repentance?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi