"You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, "I am not." John 18:17
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, April 3, 1960.
A remarkable example of self-confidence and what it produces comes from our Lord’s own circle of friends. In the last hours before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ had told His disciples that one of them would walk out on Him. With bravado, Simon Peter protested that even if the whole world should walk out on Christ, he would not! With complete self-confidence Simon Peter spoke, and in full possession of all his self-confident faculties, he did just what he boasted he would not do. Three times he was asked: “You are not one of His disciples, are you?” Three times Peter denied it and said, “I am not.”
Self-confidence prevented Peter from preparing himself for the crisis to come. In the garden, Christ prepared Himself. He prayed to His Father in an agony of bloody sweat and received power from on high. What did Peter do? He slept. Totally unprepared, he was suddenly faced by the question, “You are not one of His disciples, are you?”
There is not a single person within reach of my voice who cannot feel some sympathy for Peter. Though we stand for God, we are tempted to run out on Him when the going gets tough. We are tempted because we think that everything depends upon us. If Simon Peter is a classic example of self-confidence, he is also the finest evidence that the story does not have to end there. Peter turned to Christ in repentance and faith, and became a new man because of it.
Dear Jesus, forgive us for relying on ourselves instead of relying on You. Give us confidence in Your love, power, and forgiveness. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.