But What If I’ve Denied Jesus?
August 5, 2020
Read 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 looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” He began to call down curses and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Do you believe that you can still be forgiven even if you once denied or rejected Jesus?
Have you ever denied Jesus? Has there ever been a time in your life, when you did not acknowledge Jesus before man?
In Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus said, “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” So maybe, because you once disowned Jesus, you live in fear that you will be disowned by Jesus in heaven.
Peter denied Jesus three times. Jesus had said, “Peter, you will deny me,” and Peter replied, “Never!” And yet, he did. How heartbreaking to commit the very sin we promised to God we’d never commit! I think many of us can identify with that and be discouraged.
But if we look at the future for Peter, we can be encouraged. Jesus was not done with Peter. In John 21, we read about how Jesus appeared to seven of the disciples while they were fishing. When Peter recognized Jesus, he jumped out of the boat and ran to Him. Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love me?” And Peter affirmed that he loved Jesus three times, just as he had denied Him three times. Each time, Jesus told him to love and care for his sheep. Jesus also predicted that Peter would be crucified for his faith. Then, Jesus commands Peter to follow him.
Jesus didn’t just forgive Peter. He gave Peter a mission, despite his past failure. Despite his previous denial, Peter went on to live his life dedicated to acknowledging Jesus before man. He was committed to spreading the Gospel and building up the early church. And just as Jesus predicted, he was martyred for his faith.
If you are heartbroken over your denial of Jesus, take a page out of Peter’s book. Run straight back to Jesus and seek His forgiveness. Affirm the love you have for Him. And then, even though you may still stumble, commit to following Him until the very end. Your mission is to acknowledge Jesus before man and share the Gospel. If there was hope for Peter, there is hope for you, too!
Lord Jesus, I know that there have been times when I have denied you in thought, word, or deed. Please forgive me. Like Peter, I want to be used by you for Your glory. Amen.