Matthew 26:69-75 (NIV)
69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Sometimes I wonder why people tell lies. Is it to protect themselves and or protect others? I can tell you definitely that I have told lies in my life. Perhaps not so frequently now that I am an adult, perhaps more when I was a child or a teenager. I can vaguely remember my childish mind thinking that lying was a quick way of getting out of a tricky situation that I did not want to be in or I lied simply to protect other people. At times telling the truth can be really difficult and it can come with unwanted consequences. Being caught out telling a lie can be one of the most morally conflicting moments. Our contemporary society still considers lying to be destructive and deceitful.
Peter shows us his true human self in this passage. He is called upon by a girl who says to him that he was with Jesus. Peter takes this first opportunity to deny what she is saying and then denies others another two times. Jesus foretold Peter at the Last Supper, that he would deny Him yet Peter could not believe that this would happen. I believe that, in that moment when Peter was questioned about being with Jesus, he was scared. He was scared of incarceration or losing his life and he made a bad decision to be untruthful. Peter knew when the cock crowed that he had definitely made the wrong decision because it fulfilled Jesus’ prophecy. I think Peter knew how wrong he had been to deny the living Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Dear God, Thank you for using everyday people such as Peter, to show the fragility and imperfection of humanity. Thank you for giving us our own minds to decide what is right and wrong. Forgive us daily for our trespasses. Thank you for loving us despite our imperfections.
Written by Susannah Ware