"You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, "I am not."
Only a few hours before, the Teacher warned His followers they would suffer persecution because of their relationship with Him. Then Peter professed his willingness to endure, even die, for Jesus.
It’s different now. Peter denies the Lord when he is questioned about his allegiance to Him.
Every student of Jesus sympathizes with Peter. For every follower of Jesus has been in similar situations. Maybe it was not a matter of life and death – as Peter faced – but a moment of fear nonetheless.
Fear of rejection. Afraid of being the object of ridicule! Not willing to be different, stand out and risk not being accepted by the group.
Fear is such a powerful emotion. And shame always lurks nearby.
How to overcome fear?
Perhaps if Peter had listened more carefully to Jesus’ warning about rejection and persecution… If he had taken time to consider and visualize how he might feel and react in a situation where fear would enter his heart…
Isn’t this how Jesus must have resolved to face the cross with such courage? How He steeled Himself against the temptation to flee, to avoid the pain and shame of crucifixion?
Jesus faced His fears in advance. He determined to be faithful to the trust of His Heavenly Father. And more, He trusted in God to ultimately deliver Him, vindicate Him!
Only faith can vanquish fear.
Like Peter, students of Jesus learn this lesson the hard way. But they learn it! No matter how great the fear, faith is more powerful.