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 pat once a rooster crowed. ~from John 18
I love this story of Peter.
It is such a great picture of how “real” the disciples were. I read the stories of the calling of the disciples and them just dropping their stuff and following Jesus and honestly it just seems so hard to picture in my head…just dropping everything right then and there?
But this passage seems so much more real to my heart.
Peter has walked with Jesus. Sat with Jesus. Reclined with Jesus.
He has witnessed all sorts of miracles and been in the thick of it all.
He is even warned by Jesus that he is going to deny Jesus and just blows the whole thing off.
Then everything starts snowballing. All the things that Jesus had been warning the disciples were going to happen; they start to happen. Jesus is arrested. Jesus is taken before the Council.
And then the rooster crows.
Peter is standing and warming himself outside the gates. He is standing among those who have accused Jesus.
He is mingling amidst the world.
Then he is cornered. Instead of admitting the truth. He denies it.
He is hiding and denying.
Then, all of the sudden, he hears a rooster and he is awakened.
The fear that had gripped him of being found out is washed away with the sound
and the memory of Jesus’ words.
(I often refer to this as a “smack in the head.”)
This smack in the head is a free favor of God. A favor that He bestows on us, especially with our recurrent sins. The ones we so easily find ourselves slipping into. Then we hear or see or remember something and we are awakened to the reality of our depravity.
But when we are awakened, we aren’t alone. These sins might have choked my heart, but someone greater resides there. And it’s only through that Spirit that I can move on, in grace and forgiveness.
So I ask myself…
Where am I hiding right now? Who am I hiding with?
Am I trying to blend myself in with the world just enough not to draw attention to myself?
Or am I answering the question…who are you with?