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Daily Reading: 31st December 2015

John 18.24-27 cont.

24 Then, having bound Him Annas sent Him to Caiaphas, the high priest 

25 Simon Peter was standing there warming himself. Then they said to him: “Are you not also one of His disciples?” He denied it and said: “I am not.”

26 One of the slaves of the high priest, who was a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut of, said: “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?

27 Again Peter denied it, and immediately a cock crowed.

There are a number of Christians who appear to be keen to tell other Christians that if we deny Jesus before men He will deny us before the Father. It is true that Jesus said:

[32] “If anyone acknowledges Me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before My Father in heaven.

[33] But if anyone denies Me here on earth, I will deny that person before My Father in heaven” – Matthew 10.32-33 (NLT).

In the light of this how are we to understand the position that Peter placed himself in when he denied that he even knew Jesus? This was a clear denial of Jesus.

We know that after His resurrection Jesus walked alongside Peter and restored him from his denial; He forgave him and established him as a pastor of the flock of Jesus.

Those who are keen to point out to us that our denial of Jesus before men will result in Jesus denying us before the Father are actually sending fellow believers on a guilt trip. Whereas, as there is truth in what they say, yet there is clearly a lack of grace and love.

There are many posts on Facebook that are more guilt tripping than they are encouraging.

Perhaps we all deny Jesus at times through the things that we say, or through the lack of speaking up for Jesus when we should, or through the unrighteous ways in which we live.

In such times we must return to Jesus being sure that He has already drawn near to us. Let Him restore and forgive us so that we can be re-envisioned for His work.

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