Peter denied Jesus three times. It is an infamous story. Jesus even predicted it would happen. We might either relate with Peter, or think him a putz. Whichever way we view him, there was a reason Peter ended up denying the Lord, even though he sincerely believed he would never do such a thing. And therein belies the problem: Whenever we are cocky and believe we are above falling into sin, we neither listen well nor trust well. Pride goes before the fall.
Our sins and failures stem ultimately from a lack of real faith and commitment in Jesus. We think we can do it ourselves. We got this. Well, not so much. We blew it again. We keep trying to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps because we are just too anxious to follow Jesus. To live life on Christ’s terms will mean a loss of autonomy and control.
When Jesus was arrested the text says that Peter “followed at a distance.” If we are honest, that too often describes our own mode of following. We want to see how everything will shake-out before we commit. But only until we let go of our own ideas and stubborn thinking will we discover what true discipleship is all about. Only the grace of letting Jesus lead will bring us to the point of standing strong and not living in denial.
Gracious Lord Jesus, I admit my pride and cockiness to think that I could follow you on my terms instead of yours. In humility I come to you and confess my great need to follow you unconditionally. Thank you for your forgiveness and your provision for my life. Amen.