April 17 I Wednesday
2 Samuel 1-2
Immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: ‘Before the cock crows, you will disown Me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.” —Matthew 26:74-75
There was a second unusual conversation during the Last Supper. A dispute arose among the disciples “as to which of them was considered to be the greatest”
(Luke 22:24). The nature of this dispute was likely not one disciple praising another. Peter did not say, “John is a very loving man, so that makes him the greatest,” and John did not reply, “Thank you, Peter, but have you seen how humble Thaddaeus is? I think he’s the greatest.” I imagine the discussion was far more self-centred. Perhaps Peter reminded the others of when Jesus said, “You are Peter and on this rock I will build My church.” Maybe John pointed out that he was the disciple “whom Jesus loved,” and maybe “humble” Thaddaeus reminded them all, “The last will be first and the first will be last.”
What a discussion to have hours before Jesus was arrested and crucified!
After the meal, Jesus told His disciples, “This very night you will all fall away on account of Me” (Matthew 26:31). Indignant, Peter defended himself, “‘Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You.’ And all the other disciples said the same” (Matthew 26:35). These passionate responses were not play-acting. The disciples truly believed they would stick by Jesus’s side—that is, until a few hours later. The disciples fled when Jesus was arrested, and Peter ended up denying Jesus three times, exactly as Christ had prophesied.
Peter had been so committed, so certain, convinced that he was the greatest of the group. Yet only a few hours after claiming he would die with Jesus, he was calling down curses and swearing not to know the man. This was the lowest moment in Peter’s life, but could we talk with him now, he would probably admit it was also the best moment in his life. It is easy to weep over
failures and make promises that end in ashes, but it takes a moment of true honesty, when our self-confidence is stripped away, before we can come face-to-face with the love of Christ.
It took time, but Peter’s failure eventually drew him back to Jesus. He would later write, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins”
(1 Peter 4:8), something Peter learned by experience. When, in tears over our sin, we reach out and say, “God, I’ve done it again, but I know I love you,” there is hope because His love flows back. Tears are good for the soul, so may our tears drive us away from despair and self-confidence into the arms of our loving Saviour.
Prayer: Lord God, I long to come before You humbly, not in pride or self-confidence. Thank You that You draw people out of their lowest moments into a loving relationship with You.