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.” 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?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.
Back-story: “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus answered to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I just die with you, I will not deny you!” Matthew 26:33-34
Following Jesus is a bumpy path. It is easy to say, “Yes Lord I will….” But in the thick of it it is more difficult to follow through on the promise. While this passage only shows Peter’s failure as Peter’s life unfolds Peter lives up to his words and dies in Jesus’ name.
Peter must have felt scared that night, I would have, he was facing people who were powerful and unsupportive of Jesus, and he hid behind a lie.
The part of this story that can be easily overlooked, but is the most important, is this:
Jesus already knew Peter would deny him and he still invited Peter to walk with him, follow him, and eventually lead the new Christian movement.
Jesus looks beyond the denial, beyond the flaws, and says, “Follow me.”