“Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’ But he denied it before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you mean.’ … He began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know the Man.’ And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:69-70, 74-75 ESV)
Peter was trying to do the right thing. Well, kind of. I mean, he did come back after he ran away in the garden, leaving Jesus alone. He and John both came back, and now Peter’s actually in the courtyard of the high priest’s house. So I guess that’s something.
But it’s not enough. Peter is not with Jesus. Instead, he’s standing with Jesus’ enemies around the fire (see John 18:18). And because he’s in the wrong place with the wrong people, he panics. He denies Jesus. He ends up broken-hearted, crying in the street.
This is what happens to us, too, when we try to follow God halfway. Our hearts are divided. And when the test comes, we break.
Thank God for Jesus, who went all the way for our sakes! There are no half measures with Him. When He came to be a human being, He did it with all His heart. When He saved us, He sacrificed everything—even His own life. Why? Because He loves us completely and forever. And He forgives us and welcomes us home with the same complete joy.
We Pray: Lord Jesus, thank You for going all the way for us. Amen.
* Name an activity where you really have to commit yourself or you’ll fail.
* When did fear lead you into trouble?
* How has Jesus helped you when your heart was breaking?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on March 25, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights