The Blusterer Falls
When you’re working undercover the point is to blend in with the crowd, to avoid careful scrutiny by anyone around you, and to never “get made!” Peter, the natural leader among Jesus’ disciples, didn’t work for the CIA, but he was trying to get as close as he could to Jesus’ hearing before the chief priest. In fact, he was so close when we left him earlier in our story, he was warming himself by the fire right in the courtyard of the chief priest’s home. But he didn’t go undetected by one of the servant girls.
“Now Peter was below in the courtyard, and while he was there, one of the chief priest’s female servants came by and saw him warming himself. She looked Peter over intently and said, ‘You, you’re with the Nazarene, with Jesus!’ But he denied it saying, ‘I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about!” And he moved farther outside to the gateway. (And the cock crowed.)
And when the servant girl saw him out there, she again started saying to those standing there, ‘He’s one of them!’ Again, he denied it. A little while later those standing around again questioned Peter, ‘Indeed, you’re one of them. You’re a Galilean!’ And Peter began to call down curses against himself to substantiate his claim and to solemnly swear, ‘I don’t know this man, the one you’re talking about!’ And right then the cock crowed a second time, and Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him that before the cock crows twice, you will deny me thrice, and he broke down and cried.” Mark 14:66-72
Remember Peter’s bluster at the Last Supper when he boasted that he alone would stand with Jesus and even go to the death with him. Now, in the courtyard of the high priest, it’s ironic that right as the guards are mocking Jesus, taunting him, and calling him a false prophet, his prophecy about Peter is becoming reality. And Mark drives home the fact that it’s not our self-confidence, our positive thinking, or our words that have the power to create reality. It’s the words of Jesus.
LORD, use Peter’s horrible example in this instance to warn me against my own blustering and boasting. Thank you that he did remember what you said, and he did break down and cry. Thanks that unlike Judas’ tears, these tears led to genuine repentance and restoration.
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