Today in Mark we look at Mark 14:66-72. This is where Peter denies Jesus:
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 stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. 69 And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” 72 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
One of the things, that to me, is always important to remember about this text is that it isn’t just Judas that betrayed Jesus on this night. Yes, Judas was the one that led them to Jesus, but here, we see Peter, three times deny Jesus. He had the chance to stand up for Jesus in this moment. What can we learn from this?
First, know this. We all fail. Everyone one of us. Here is Peter. The leader of the Apostles. The one that preaches on Pentecost. The one that everyone looks to. Peter. The rock. And he fails. He fails worse than any of us probably ever will.
So, when you blow it, remember. Peter did too. He failed. We all failed. It’s part of our human condition. That’s not to say that we want to fail or that we desire to fail. It is to say that it will happen to each of us.
But, second, your worst mistakes don’t define you. Yes, we see Peter fail here. But fast forward to Acts. It is Peter that is the leader. He is the speaker. He is the one that everyone looks to, to explain what is happening, to point everyone to Jesus. Peter did leave and grieve, but Jesus restored him. And when Jesus forgave him, he was able to forgive himself, and return back into leadership, return back to the family.
Peter failed, yes. But through the grace of God, Peter’s failure didn’t define him. God’s grace did.
And last, the disciples didn’t hold Peter’s failure over his head. The forgave him. They didn’t keep bringing up his mistake. They let it go as well.
We need to forgive ourselves, but we do not need to hold the mistakes of others over their heads. God doesn’t define us by our mistakes. Let’s not define each other in the same way. God has shown us grace and mercy. Let’s show that same grace and mercy to each other.
God doesn’t hold our mistakes over our head. Let’s not hold other’s mistakes over their heads.
Grace is the only answer, it’s the only thing that truly and forever changes lives.
Tomorrow we’ll look at Mark 15:1-15.
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