66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. 68 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. 69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” 70 Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” 72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Peter was determined to stand by Jesus. “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will” (Mark 14:29). When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter was ready with his sword. He was fighting back (though all he hits is an ear). And now he has followed right into the courtyard of the High Priest’s house.
He had been ready when they were challenged by soldiers, but he’s not ready when he’s challenged by a servant girl. He was ready to die protecting Jesus, but not ready when he’s challenged with simply knowing him. He crumbles and denies Jesus, as Jesus knew he would.
I always plan that I will have exactly the right things to say when I’m challenged about knowing Jesus, but I often crumble too when it happens differently. I need to be better at listening to the Holy Spirit, not so much at planning.
But God’s purposes don’t crumble because I do.
Father, I’m sorry when my planning gets in the way of your plans. I’m glad that yours are more robust than mine.
Written by David Cornell