Author: Amos Lee, Rev., Chinese Independent Baptist Church, San Francisco
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in. 17 “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” (John 18:15-17, NIV)
“’You are not one of his disciples, are you?’ the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “’I am not’” (John 18:17).
This episode in the life of Simon Peter represents a low point in his journey of following Christ. Contrast this to when he boldly proclaimed to Jesus some days earlier when he said, “ ... I will lay down my life for you.” (John 13:37b) And the sad thing is, it never struck Peter that he was going down the slippery slope of denying Christ. Before the night was over, he would deny the Lord two more times. This was despite the fact that the Lord had warned him that this was going to happen.
This is a very revealing truth about human nature in the face of external pressures that challenges our core beliefs. Just like Peter, we buckle when our exuberance and confidence is built upon the flimsy foundation of feelings and fear. Standing up for Christ and be counted makes us squirmy and uncomfortable, especially when thrust into an unpopular cause or when holding an unpopular point of view. We hate to stick out like a sore thumb. We want to be liked and to be in the “in” crowd, doing the “in thing.” We fear what other people think of us or what they would do to us.
But there comes a time when we have to stand up for what we truly believe and to identify with those who hold those views. When that time comes, may we be able to stand tall knowing for sure “ ... the reason for the hope” that we have and not because of what others might like or dislike about us.
Lord, deliver me from the exuberance of the unexamined faith and the fear of not being liked.
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior