When I was a kid, I went to great lengths to get out of trouble—hide, lie, run, or whatever it took. As an adult, I still find myself trying to escape someone’s undesirable opinion of me, punishment of any sort, or negative standing in the crowd.
- How do you usually react to peer or cultural pressure? How do you find strength to stand?
READ THE WORD: MARK 14:66-72 (ESV)
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Describe how the intensity and passion of Peter’s denial builds with the increase in crowds.
- Peter must have been very afraid to deny Jesus, whom he had followed for nearly three years. Yet, we see passionate denial—even cursing—and then weeping and remorse. In what ways does your walk with God, at times, seem quick to turn like Peter’s? How and why?
- Where do you deny Jesus daily? Are you quick to recognize and grieve your sin, and repent?
- Are you close enough to Jesus to be recognized as his follower?
RESPOND TO GOD
In the face of opposition from others, it is hard to be true to what you believe. The unknown of what might happen to you can send you into a mad rush to escape. The rooster crowing was not the sound of God’s condemnation of Peter, but a reminder for him to turn and remember. The rooster’s crow was the sound of grace to Peter at a time when he needed it most.
- Pray you would have ears to hear God calling you back when your heart or actions deny him.
- Ask God for boldness and courage to stand and be identified with him. He will not leave you; pray that you would believe that.
- God’s grace is forever, constant, and repetitive. Thank God for that, and rehearse with God the ways you have seen that in your life.