Focal passage: Luke 22:54-62
Two men who had been close friends since childhood took very different career paths. One graduated law school with honors and became a very successful lawyer. The other dropped out of high school, worked as a free-lance repairman, and lived out of his van.
The two locked eyes across a bar from one another years later. Everything was different. One wore a pristine suit, the other a stained button up. One smelled of fine cologne, the other of sweat and dirt. Feeling pity and embarrassment for his old friend, the lawyer casually waved and left without so much as a word.
The friendship that once tied these two men together vanished, only to be replaced with pride, pedigree and prejudice.
Jesus understands denial because He experienced it for Himself from one of His closest friends. When a woman asked if he knew Jesus, Peter said, “Woman, I don’t know him” (v. 57). When asked a second and third time by two men, Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” (v 60).
After all Peter had been through with Jesus, the fear that filled his heart led him to deny his savior, Lord and friend.
Who can say what you or I would have done if put in Peter’s shoes? While we may not deny Jesus with our lips, we are prone to deny Him with our actions.
When we choose our will over His, we stand in denial of who Jesus is.
It has been said that, “Actions speak louder than words.” When we give in to fear or pride, we deny Jesus in a way that speaks louder than words ever could.
Jesus said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8). When we attend worship services or participate in small groups, the temptation is to say the right things and pray the right prayers. However, if we fail to honor the Lord in our private lives or in our weekly activities, we deny the very person who gave His all for us.