I Will Not Deny You
I Will Not Deny You
When we’re afraid, we might instinctively go into a state of denial. We just don’t want to face the scary problem. It’s so much easier to walk away from the situation and pretend it does not exist. We don’t like running away from our problems, but feel fearfully helpless and don’t know what to do.
Peter felt the same way. When with Jesus and the other disciples in the upper room, he could strongly and bravely state, “Even if I must die with You, I will not deny You.“ (Matthew 26:35) There is strength in numbers and the kind of fellowship we’re in. But, after Jesus was arrested by a mob and was being spit upon and beaten, it was easy for Peter to see he was out numbered in bad company. Peter had followed the angry crowd that had arrested Jesus and had courageously gotten into the courtyard to find out what was happening, but he was not amongst friends. So, when the obnoxious crowd identified him as a friend of Jesus, Peter feared for his well-being. In Matthew 26:69-75 it says,
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a certain servant girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”
And when he had gone out to the gateway, another servant girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.”
And a little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away.”
Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a cock crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
And so, every Christian who has denied Christ in fear weeps bitterly. But, Peter did not weep for himself. He wept because he really knew Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. No one should ever deny the Savior, but he had. What remorse! He had denied truth itself. Peter was sorry that he had hurt Jesus.
About this same incident, Luke 22:31-34 records Jesus saying,
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail, and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
And he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”
And He said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”
Yes, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. But, with a repentant heart that knew he was forgiven, and Peter did spend the rest of his life strengthening fellow Christians in the truth. He became a leader in preaching the gospel of forgiveness and salvation. Peter’s preaching finally led to his death, where he was crucified upside down. But then he was no longer afraid because he knew the truth was worth standing up for.
When we give our hearts to Jesus, He prays for us also. Jesus prays that our faith will not fail and that when we turn back to Him in repentance, we will be all the stronger in our faith and service — like Peter.
Since we sin every day, we need to turn back to Jesus every day in repentance. Then, accept His loving forgiveness and become stronger in the true faith, for Jesus’ sake. Jesus’ love for us has been so faithful and true. We can trust Him to continue strengthening and leading us as we abide in His word. It is in His word that we receive strength and knowledge of the truth that sustains us.
Then, with Peter and all the saints down through the ages, we say, “Hallelujah! Let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” (1 Peter 4:19).
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.