"The servant girl at the door said to Peter, 'You also are not one of this Man's disciples, are you? ..." (John 18:17a). Read John 18:15-18, 25-27.
Peter has no reason to be in the high priest's courtyard. Jesus already told the disciples what the outcome of His trials would be. But Peter wants to see for himself, so he enters the courtyard and waits with the guards in the darkness to learn the outcome of the trial.
But Peter can't hide. He is recognized at the door by a servant girl, near the fire started by the guards to warm themselves, and finally by a relative of the soldier whose ear Peter had cut off. With his life in peril and no way of escape, Peter's courage melts away and he swears oaths and calls down curses on himself as he tries to distance himself from Jesus of Nazareth.
How often are we guilty of Peter's sin? One moment we profess our loyalty to Jesus, the next we deny Him by what we say and do. We forget the price He paid to set us free.
The crow of the rooster brought Peter back to Jesus' words. With shame and pain he recalled the prophecy Jesus had made, "The rooster will not crow till you have denied Me three times." He went out and wept bitterly.
We share Peter's weakness. We are so confident in our strength, yet we stumble for the least reason into fear, unbelief and self-preservation. But Jesus paid the full price for our sins of denial, and for His sake we are free.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, with shame I admit the countless times I have denied You. Forgive my sin and strengthen me in true faith, that rejoicing in Your salvation, I may fearlessly tell others of Your great salvation. Amen.