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Examine Scripture

Mark 14:66-72

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Peter Denies Jesus Three Times…

Fearing for his life, Peter denied being one of Christ’s disciples:

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s maids came along. Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”

But he denied it saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” So he went out into the outer court. [Then the cock crowed.]

The maid saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” Once again he denied it.

A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more, “Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean.”

He began to curse and to swear, “I do not know this man about whom you are talking.” And immediately a cock crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.” He broke down and wept.  -Mark 14:66-72, NAB

Peter and the other Apostles told Jesus that their faith would not be shaken (read more), but in Mark 14:30, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed twice (by morning, in other words).  Today’s verse shows that prediction coming true.

Jesus had chosen Peter to lead the Church when He gave him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:19).  Peter often stepped up as the leader and voice of the Apostles.  It was obvious that his fate was to lead the young Church, but how could he?  He could not even stand by Christ’s side in His greatest hour of need.  If Peter could not change, the Church was in a lot of trouble.

We, too, will face times of trial.  Will we be cowards like Peter, or will we have the courage to stand up for our beliefs in the public square?  Can we boldly share our faith regardless of what the consequences may be? 

Of course, we know how the story turns out.  Peter showed a lack of faith in this verse; nonetheless, he eventually overcame his fears and led the Church in its infancy.  He was imprisoned for his faith, and eventually crucified (upside down), but he remained faithful to Christ from throughout his life.

Have you denied Christ?  Are there times that you were not faithful to God?  Do not despair.  Peter overcame his failings to become one of the most important leaders the Church has ever had.  Despite his weakness, God used him to build up the Church from a few followers to the large body of believers that it is today.  Christ can do the same with you; you only need to give Him the chance.

For years, I was a faithful follower of Christ.  I was active in my local church, helped with a variety of ministries, and was not afraid to wear my faith on my sleeve.  But when times got tough, I lost faith and fell away from God.  I stumbled for many years trying to find the faith I once had.  Eventually, after my conversion to Catholicism, I was able to renew my faith and once again become a devoted follower of Christ.

God took a weak man like Peter and made him a saint.  God even took a wayward follower like me and gave me the strength to renew my faith.  Let God work a miracle in you too.  You may have been weak; you may have lost your way; but God can work miracles in your life… and in ways that you could never imagine.

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