66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. "You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus," she said. 68 But he denied it. "I don't know or understand what you're talking about," he said, and went out into the entryway. 69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, "This fellow is one of them." 70 Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, "Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean." 71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, "I don't know this man you're talking about." 72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." And he broke down and wept.
Thoughts: When Jesus needed support most, Peter flinched and denied him. Peter, unlike the other disciples was bold enough to follow him right up to the courtyard outside Caiaphas's house. He may have had some pride that he boldly went where others would not go. The courtyard is a medium sized patio and can hold a hundred or so. It was clearly a dangerous place to be with guards right there. One of the lessons of temptation is to see ourselves as stronger and bolder than most and therefore we can give in. It is like stopping running in the race three-fourths of the way because we are ahead of everyone else. In our day when so many are fleeing away from Christ, it is too easy to give up in the tough times. We may say to ourselves- "I go to church and read the Bible more than any of my friends" and therefore we find an excuse to drift away into the night, or to stop following God altogether. The really great news is that though Peter denied him and this haunted him the rest of his life- Jesus restored Peter (Jn. 21); and he can restore us. But let us learn a lesson from Peter's denial and heartache.
Prayer: As school starts, as the summer ends, let me not deny you but be faithful to the end. Keep me from thinking I am better than others, Lord. Give me humility that I may not have pride and fall.