Fear and Denial: Peter’s Story

Peter makes an important choice.

He doesn’t claim allegiance with Christ in that moment. He doesn’t want to. When the little servant girl, in innocence, asks, “Aren’t you with him?” Peter answers a very firm, “No.” After some time passes, a guard, a family member of the guy who’s ear Peter cut off, asks, “You were let in for this trial- aren’t you with the Galilean?” Peter says, “I don’t know him.” The guard responds, “Look man, your accent is kind of a give away.” But Peter said, Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” Luke 22:60-61

In western society, many times we feel the most Christian when we get to church on time, or just a bit early. We stake out or place in the pew with our bible and/or bulletin and go and find our friends. We talk about the week, we keep it safe, and we tell everyone that we are fine. Persecution is far from our minds as we smell the brewed coffee and old paper in the hymnals. But it’s very real.

There are churches around the world that have to worship in total silence. Worship music without the music. Yet God hears this praise. God sees those believers.

In some countries, as we have seen in the news, terrorists spray paint an Arabic symbol on the houses of Christians, signifying they are a target. God sees this.

In Rwanda, where Hutus and Tutsis brutally murdered each other, a man whose family was murdered by one side is now a pastor to the other. God sees him too.

The Lord looking at Peter says a lot. “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter”

I’ve never heard a sermon on this moment, so I’ll take a second to say that looking at someone in the midst of conflict, as a way to connect, despite the circumstances is huge. Seeing a parent when you get injured as a child, Seeing your significant other when you receive an award, finally seeing that friend, at a distance, that you haven’t seen in a long time. Seeing and being seen is important. In this moment with Peter and the Lord Jesus I think Jesus says, “I know, Peter. I still love you. I know that you were mad and afraid and in the moment. I also told you your mouth and bragging would get you into trouble. Take care in what you say from now on.”

All of that: Love, Admonishment, and Care, all in a look.

I think that when we sit in our pews, have our Sunday dinners and rest as we watch our movies and TV shows we remember: there are times for us to be frustrated, there are times for us to get mad at our situation, at the difficulties that surround us.

However, we must remember our blessings.

That you won’t be thrown into jail for writing a curriculum for children.

Or, be stoned by the public for praying to God.

Or be sentenced to death for being Christian.

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What do you feel Jesus would be saying to you if he turned to look?

I hope that this week you take time out to recognize the people that are unseen by so many others. Help them remember as Hagar did:

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” (Genesis 16:13)

For more info on persecution and how you can help, give, and pray Check out Voice of The Martyrs by Clicking Here.