by Stuart Gray
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He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, ‘I don’t know this man you’re talking about’ (Mark 14:71).
Read Mark 14:66–72
This was a low point in Peter’s life. Not long before this time, Jesus had asked his disciples, ‘Who do you say I am?’ and Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’.
Jesus said of this response, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Peter … on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven’ (Matthew 16:16–19).
Later, when Jesus said all the disciples would desert him, Peter was adamant that he would not be a deserter (Mark 14:29).
Yet here he is, not long later, disowning Jesus. Even though he was warned of the events to come, that Jesus would be handed over to the authorities and put to death, Peter did not understand what was happening and what his reaction to the unfolding drama would be. His denial of Jesus was also a denial of who he was, one of the foremost disciples of Jesus. No wonder he wept at the realisation of what he had done.
However, Peter did become the rock on which the church would be built.
It is comforting to note that discipleship is not destroyed by our own foolishness, weaknesses, failings and inabilities. We do and will stumble, just as Peter did. But beyond our stumbles and frailties is the risen Christ who gives all believers the gift of salvation from sin and eternal life. In our failures, we come to rely even more on God’s forgiveness so we can continue to hold the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Heavenly Father, you know our weaknesses and how they derail our discipleship. We pray for forgiveness, and despite our failures, we pray for the courage to be a witness to you in all that we do. Amen.
Stuart, with his wife Pamela Dalgliesh, lives in Mansfield, Victoria. Stuart has a background in agricultural science, rural journalism and corporate affairs. He loves living on a small farm in the beautiful High Country of Victoria, being involved in the Mansfield community and travelling, having in the last three years done extensive travels in Western Australia, Queensland, the United Kingdom and Ireland.