Happy Friday! I’m so thankful for this week, but there is just something special about Fridays. This morning as I read the final verses in Matthew chapter 26, I thought about the words rejection and denial. Have you ever been in a situation where you were rejected or denied? Given that is a heavy question for Friday, let me use something that may be a little softer. Have you ever been at a check out counter and you went to pay for something and your ATM card was denied? Maybe it was declined/denied for the wrong pin number, it was an expired card and the new one was at home, or insufficient funds. Whatever it was, it certainly got your attention. Did you ask the cashier to try again? Did they try to reprocess the transaction three times or did they give up after one or two tries? I’m certain the moment was a little embarrassing and may be you offered an excuse. Join me today as we finish chapter 26. Have a wonderful day and weekend.
69 Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”
70 But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.[k]”
72 Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said. 73 A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”
74 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.” – Matthew 26:69-75 NLT
Fear caused Peter to lie and deny Jesus. However, it wasn’t a surprise to Jesus. The Lord foretold this to Peter in the following verses in Matthew 26:
- “33 Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.”
- 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
- 35 “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.“
Jesus was right, Peter denied Jesus and he did it three times. The same disciples who vowed they would never deny Jesus are the ones who deserted him. Jesus understood the importance of the mission in which he was sent. Jesus held to the truth in spite of the desertion of friends, being set up by religious leaders and being beaten with fists. I’m certain Peter felt awful and embarrassed for his actions. I’m certain we all feel awful and embarrassed by the times we walked away from God and deserted him for other things.
Sisters and brothers, hands down, no one can be compared to or is equal to Jesus. Yet, I want you to understand that the Lord loves you and still invites you to be part of the kingdom family. No matter what your past looks like, the Lord wants to give you a future. Will you follow Him? For those of you who know and are walking with the Lord, what is God calling you to do today to advance the kingdom of heaven?
Today and throughout the weekend, reflect on Matthew chapter 26 and think about how Jesus’ act of obedience to trust God’s will has impacted your life and how you plan to live out your life today and in the future.
Father God, you have called us out of the darkness into the light. Lord, forgive us for the times we did not follow you with our whole heart. Lord, today we surrender our will to yours. Lord, teach us to follow your path and not our selfish plans. Lord, our hope is in you. Lord, be with the women and children who are suffering from domestic violence and get them the help they need. Lord, be with all the children and adults who are victims of human trafficking, Lord, set them free from their captors. Lord, protect them from harm and fear. Lord, plant your hope in our hearts. Lord, as we journey through, help us to see you working in the midst of everything around us. In the name of Jesus Christ we ask all these things. Amen!
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