Advent: Be Honest


Day Eight: I Don’t Know Him

Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.”

But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed (Mark 14:66-68, NLT).

I walked past the game room and overheard my grandson talking with his friends. “I just go to church because my grandparents make me.” I was surprised by his declaration of separation since he had recently been to church camp and had talked to me about wanting to be baptized to let others know he had made a personal commitment to Jesus.

After his friends left, I sat down beside him and told him I heard his comment. I asked him why he was now seeming to go back on his commitment.

“Oh, it’s not like that, Mema. I just didn’t want them to make fun of me. They think church is stupid. I want them to like me.” What followed was a conversation about how we can’t have it both ways. I reminded him of the recent Sunday School lesson on Peter, and how Jesus had predicted his denial—and how strongly Peter denied that he would ever do something like that. And the hurt he felt as the rooster crowed.

My grandson’s head hit his chest. He apologized to me, and I suggested he needed to apologize to God, too.

TO PONDER: What a gift Jesus gave Peter that day. Through Peter he was letting us know that we, too, would find ourselves in those situations where we would be tempted to say we don’t know Jesus. Times at school. Times at work. Times when we we’re trying to avoid the uncomfortable judgment of others. Thankfully, in Peter’s life and for us, Jesus offers forgiveness and restoration when let him down. Has there been a time when you denied knowing Jesus? Have you been restored?

TO DISCUSS: What other ways, beside just saying it, do we deny we know Jesus? 

PRAYER: God, living consistently for you is not always easy. Sometimes it’s easier to avoid the scrutiny of others by denying you. I forget that ultimately you still see. In the story of Peter we read that when the rooster crowed for the third time, Peter’s eyes met yours across the courtyard. My heart aches when I sense your disappointment. Help me to find strength and courage to stand up for you…no matter who else’s judgment I may fear. I want to be known as yours. Amen.

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