(Mark 14.66-72; Luke 22.56-62; John 18.15-18,25-27)
69While Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, a servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus from Galilee.”
70But in front of everyone Peter said, “That isn't so! I don't know what you are talking about!”
71When Peter had gone out to the gate, another servant girl saw him and said to some people there, “This man was with Jesus from Nazareth.”
72Again Peter denied it, and this time he swore, “I don't even know that man!”
73A little while later some people standing there walked over to Peter and said, “We know you are one of them. We can tell it because you talk like someone from Galilee.”
74Peter began to curse and swear, “I don't know that man!”
Right then a rooster crowed, 75and Peter remembered that Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will say three times you don't know me.” Then Peter went out and cried bitterly.
Jesus Is Brought to Annas
(Matthew 26.57,58; Mark 14.53,54; Luke 22.54)
12The Roman officer and his men, together with the temple police, arrested Jesus and tied him up. 13They took him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 This was the same Caiaphas who had told the Jewish leaders, “It is better if one person dies for the people.”
There’s an old Christian saying that we are the only Bible many people will ever read. I’ve often wondered what the book reports would sound like if people were writing about the book of my life. Would it be a bestseller? Would it be classified as fiction? Or could my life be used as a good sermon illustration?
The apostle Peter was a master of disguise. A humble fisherman with a bad temper he agreed to follow the Rabbi Jesus but he struggled with his own DNA. He meant well and he gave up everything to follow Christ but he had episodes where his human nature came through loudly and others might have concluded that he was an unlikely candidate to have such an important role in Jesus’s new leadership team and their mission to change the world.
Peter made it clear that he meant well. He publicly stated that even though others would run away he would never abandon Jesus. He would stay with him to the bitter end even if it cost his own life. But there in the shadow of the religious headquarters they called the Temple, Peter disguised himself as one of the crowd, a tourist who came by to see what all the excitement was about. But when recognized by a servant girl he flatly denied he even knew who this Jesus person was.
Most of us reading this would never stoop that low (or so we think). We would never flatly and categorically deny that we knew Jesus. At least by our words. But what about our lifestyle? What about the way we act and react? If my life is to be the only Bible many will read, I want them to see Jesus as they turn every page.
Father God, I don’t want my life to be a fairy-tale novel; I want it to be a documentary. I want people to see the facts on every page that I am a Christ follower. Please help me to make that a reality.
Dr. Barry Slauenwhite is Canadian Regional Director for Best Christian Workplaces Instiute. He is also President Emeritus of Compassion Canada where he has served since 1983. Barry's advocacy for the poor has taken him to 61 countries. From his experience as a pastor and a ministry leader, he passionately works to promote holistic child development through the local church as being the most effective kingdom-building strategy available to the Christian world. Barry's latest book, Strategic Compassion, addresses the theological implications of poverty and draws a conclusion that the gospel is the most effective tool the church has to eradicate poverty.