Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 1 March 2015

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14, verses 66-72.

“I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about .”   Peter could be someone in our pop culture today.   If you corner one of the Glitterati and they don’t want to answer your questions, they spout off an answer similar to Peter’s (if they answer at all). But let’s not be judgy here; let’s not assume that it’s only the rich and famous who cower in the face of simple truth.  12 year old kids avoid the truth.   So do politicians running for president (or who used to be president).   You don’t always get a straight answer out of your pastor.   And me?   I love you, friend reader, but you’re only reading what I’ve selectively chosen to share. Let’s keep this real: that’s a way to avoid sharing the whole truth.

Don’t you know it gets worse for Peter.   And for us. The young girl found out about Peter, then she told others.   What does Peter do?   He doubles down on his cowardice. Peter doesn’t just run farther from the truth.   He adds in elements of drama queen, profanity, and histrionics. ‘NO I DON’T KNOW THAT SON OF A %*^&!   NO I’M NOT ONE OF THEM, YOU FILTHY %*%&y#* @*@($&%(!”   You get the picture…

…and this is Jesus’ best friend.   This is the man on whom Jesus said He would build His church.   In just a few minutes, Peter will be taken to Pilate where He will be questioned, humiliated further, and tortured.   In just a few hours, soldiers will spread out Jesus’ arms and drive thick rusty nails through them, nailing Him to a cross for the trillions of sins He never committed before, on or after that day.   Including Peter’s three denials…including the thousands of ways you and I have denied Christ in our lives.

How many times have I said “I don’t know what you’re talking about” when someone has asked me about my faith, what I believe, who Jesus is to me.   Yes, I’m more comfortable now talking about it than I was many years ago.   What about all those years when I wasn’t?   How many people lost out on a chance to hear about Him because I was a coward?   How about you?

We can’t obsess about those times.   They’re forgiven sins anyway.   But to ‘go and sin no more,’ what can we do today to prepare for those times ahead when others may ask us about Jesus?

Lord, forgive my cowardice concerning You.   Forgive me, strengthen me, teach me, and encourage me to be bold for You.

Read Mark 14, verses 53-65.

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