The Denials and the Comeback

The Denials and the Comeback

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent. 

Read: John 18:15-27

Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, [16] but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. [17] The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” [18] Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

[19] The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. [20] Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. [21] Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” [22] When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” [23] Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” [24] Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

[25] Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” [26] One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” [27] Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. (ESV)

The Apostle Peter might be best remembered for this scene. He’s the disciple that denied Jesus three times. After following Jesus for three years and swearing to follow him to the very end, Peter panics. He freezes up, lets his fear get the best of him, and he denies his Savior - even as he’s going to his death - not once, but three times.

What Peter should be best remembered for is the comeback. After Jesus rises from the dead, he restores Peter and charges him to shepherd the flock. And that’s exactly what Peter does. He becomes the leader of the early church, the intrepid preaching that could not be silenced by the authorities, and the disciple who stood up and explained what was happening on the day of Pentecost.

What a change restoration made for Peter. It does the same thing for us. We know God’s grace most when we’re confronted with our own shortcomings. Our sin reveals the depth of his love. Our failures illuminate his perfection. His forgiveness fills us with the strength to carry out the mission.

Lord, remind me that even in my weakness you are strong. Your forgiveness gives me life. Thank you for giving me grace each day so that I, like Peter, can be restored. Keep me from sin, and when I do sin, remind me of the payment you made through your son. Amen.

Why do you think Peter denied Jesus those three times? How did that affect Peter’s ministry moving forward?

Can you think of a time you’ve been restored? Is there someone you know who needs to be restored?

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