Pride is to character, like the attic to the house—the highest part, and generally the most empty. — Sydney Howard Gay
Peter was “the man.” Even his name means “rock.” The first to speak, the first to take up the sword—yeah, that guy. As Jesus continues the Passover meal with the disciples, bold Peter provides the next moment of awkwardness—a turn of events that no one was anticipating. They start to have conversation again. Jesus actually does a little Q&A time.
Peter asked a question; Philip asked a question; Jesus answers those questions. And in the course of this conversation, Jesus talks about the fact that He’s heading to death. Peter opens his mouth and prepares to insert his foot:
“Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” (John 13:37-38)
Ouch. That must have stung. Or not. My guess is that Peter didn’t believe it (even though it came from the lips of his Lord). Peter’s good intentions, vocal professions, and public declarations of allegiance were not enough—and this bold confidence was likely the source of his demise. He believed himself to be strong, but before the rooster crowed, his denials were complete.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Oh, Jesus, I am weak, but You are strong! You are the way, the truth, and the life; by myself, I can be like Peter or even Judas. Without You, I am nothing and can do nothing. Though I share Peter’s intentions, professions, and declarations, left to myself, I can betray You like Judas. I recognize and confess that I cannot live as I should in my own strength. I rest in You and trust in You to live Your life through me today. Amen.