"'You will all fall away,' Jesus told them, 'for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.'" Mk 14:27
Most will recognize this passage of scripture as Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial. You may recall that Peter was the zealot (both in attitude and in political affiliation) among the apostles. Always seeming to be on the cutting edge of things, he was the one who got out of the boat and walked on water toward Jesus. He was the one who withstood Jesus about washing his feet. He was the one that, under the evident influence of Satan, told Jesus he would not suffer and die. He was the one that offered to build three shelters on the mountain of transfiguration. And of course, he was the one that, as predicted, denied Christ three times at a most critical moment.
Beloved we must answer within ourselves whether we are capable of such a thing. In fact, we must determine if we are doing such even now through the things we think, say or do. Like Peter, we may be zealous for the Lord, be willing to step out on faith, display humility, sometimes wrestle with the Devil and make decisions out of a lack of understanding. At a critical juncture, however, will we deny him? It could happen subtly in a conversation with a friend or better yet, a boss. It could happen at the ballot box. It could even happen by our mere presence at the wrong place doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.
These are tough things to consider, but we must be on our guard at all times. Like Peter, any of us could be put into a highly tense and emotional situation at which our reputation, safety and even our very lives might be at stake. Let us always keep top of mind and deep in our hearts that Christ never denied us, but in fact suffered a loss of reputation among men, endured physical punishment and ultimately gave his life for us. Deny self before denying him.
Rejoicing in the Lord,