Up until that moment, when Peter opened his mouth in the courtyard of the High Priest, he had kept his word to Jesus. He showed valiant courage that night. First, in the garden when he drew his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest’s servant. And then, the audacity to show himself in the courtyard of that same High Priest. He was fulfilling his word to Jesus spoken at the Last Supper, “Even though all should have their faith shaken, mine will not be…Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.”
And then, in the courtyard, he opened his mouth and his courage unraveled. He denied Christ the first time, yet he tried to remain steadfast in his promise to stay with Jesus. He resisted the fear rising in his heart. Not once, but twice. Most people would have recognized the danger they were in and would have disappeared at once, upon being recognized. But Peter stayed.
Peter was indeed a courageous man, with a heart for his Lord. It could be, he would have stayed there still if not for the cockcrow, to remind him of Jesus’ words, “before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times.” It was only when his heart was rent in this reminder that he lost courage and fled.
The characters of Peter and Judas are often compared, but in truth, there is no comparison. Peter lived the rest of his life very aware of that one defining moment. All of us face a moment in our lives that we are not proud of; a moment where we fall in weakness. But it is in just these moments we are defined, not so much by the act as to what we do afterwards.
Peter gives us a great example as one who, took his weakest point, and made it an opportunity to portray God’s mercy. We will hear him confess his weakness; it will become part of his testimony of God’s glory. How despite his failing, God has forgiven him.
We all will face a defining moment, like Peter. Let our failing not be what defines us, where we are tempted to hide in shame like Judas. No, let it be the moment we turn back to God, find His mercy, and tell others of the Divine goodness of God.
May God Bless you.