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Why Peter Denied Knowing Jesus

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Truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

Matthew 26:34

Peter disowned Jesus three times in the court yard; then the rooster crowed. Peter then remembered the words Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). What happened to Peter’s courage that he would disown Jesus three times?

Peter wept because he did just the opposite of what he told Jesus. But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same (Matthew 26:35). Peter said he would die with Jesus and he would never disown him, but his fear overpowered what was in his heart.

Jesus died on the cross Friday and arose from the grave on Sunday; he remained on earth for forty days before ascending into Heaven. Three times he appeared to his apostles and one of those times he reinstated Peter. Jesus was with his apostles on the beach where the apostles had just come in from fishing all night. They were sitting around the fire and they were eating bread and fish for breakfast. Then Jesus asked Peter three times, ‘Do you love me?’ Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you” (John 21:17).

Why did Jesus ask Peter if he loved him? There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18). The more love we have in our hearts for Christ, the less fear we have. God is perfect love and Satan is perfect fear. Fear is the opposite of love and the more love we have in our hearts the less fear we have.

The closer we are to the Lord the more love we have in our hearts. We get closer to the Lord if we commune with him; this is done through praising him, thanking him, asking him for guidance, reading the Word, meditating on the Word and on God, and fellowshipping with other Christians. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). The more we set our minds on things above, the more love, peace, joy, and security we experience and fear starts to fade away. Thinking on things above helps us to be free in Christ but thinking on things of the world leads us to become slaves to the world. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1).

Today monitor your thoughts and if Satan tempts you with fear or worry, change your thoughts to things above. Praise and thank the Lord and ask for his guidance and peace. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). Love the Lord and ask for peace and courage whenever Satan induces fear.

Let’s Pray: Lord let my love for you override any fear that will cause me to deny you. Let nothing that Satan puts in my life override your love, so that I will never disown you. Let your love in my heart give me the courage to endure and overcome the world. In Jesus name, Amen