Friday, August 3rd. Mark 14:66-72

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 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. And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 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.” But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” 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.  Mark 14:66-72

 

Who among us has not been there?

 

Who among us, seemingly firm in our faith and our convictions, has not wilted when given opportunity to “stand up, stand up, for Jesus”?  Who among us, when caught between “what would God think?” and “what would the neighbors think?” hasn’t done the math and quickly tallied that God is far more forgiving than our neighbors.  After all, we still have to live with those people….so we wilt.

 

Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard.  He was right there among the soldiers.  As long as he kept quiet he was safe.  Maybe he heard the muffled roars, the jeers and catcalls, maybe even the sickening snap of a whip or the thud of a fist.  We can feel the flush of Peter’s face, the churning of his stomach, the lead weight of his feet settling hard upon his soul.

 

You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.”

 

That was all it took.  The soft voice of a servant girl.  Just that – to draw attention to Peter, to make his presence public.  That was his chance to stand up for his Lord.  To keep his promise to follow unto death.  The oath that HE would NEVER deny Jesus.

 

The comedian, Ron White, telling the story of being arrested said, “They gave me the right to remain silent but they didn’t give me the ability.”

 

Peter didn’t remain silent.  He spoke up.  First quietly, then defiantly, he denied knowing Jesus.  All it took was fear.

 

So the story goes.  From here on out the disciples will watch from a distance.  They will watch their dreams die.  Their hopes fade.  Fear will take over and win the day.  There will be, for them and for us, only one hope left.

 

Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, we confess we have sinned against you by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.  We have not loved you with our whole heart.  We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.   We have not spoken up in the face of evil and injustice.  We have quietly taken more than our fair share.  We have worried more about what the neighbors would think about us than who you call us to be and what you call us to do.  You are innocent, we, guilty as charged.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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2 Responses to “Friday, August 3rd. Mark 14:66-72”

  1. Randy Nelson Says:

    Guilt for me can sometimes be a ‘good’ thing if it motivates me to stand up for Jesus. The homeless, drug addictive souls, prisoners, children & those with mental health issues are always in need of the hope Jesus gives all of us. Also, food pantry gifts are a ‘good’ thing as well as keeping your church property very nice. Thanks, Randy

  2. Gene Says:

    Pastor Nelson, it seems that a large number within our own denomination have wilted to the questions of the world. We have abandoned our understanding of God’s written word in order to quiet the voices of those whom we love, who are unrepentant. We no longer believe that the Bible is the Word of the True and Living God. Evidently, it is now okay to look upon the Bible as a collection of writings which may, or may not have been written by some unknown scribes. We can pick and choose which parts we want to believe, and which parts we decide to ignore. Read into this statement whatever you which.

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