Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. John 18:25-27
Lies are especially hard on the person telling the lie. You have to keep your lies straight and once you go down that road you have to continue to keep telling the lie even in the face of what others say and saw. This is Peter’s problem. He has already said he did not know Jesus and now he is confronted with someone who was at Jesus arrest. Not only were they there that are related to the man whose ear Peter cut off.
What does Peter do? He just says the lie louder. Matthew tells us that Peter began to curse (Matthew 26:69-75) as more and more people began to question him about knowing Jesus and being one of Jesus followers. Peter was seeing what was happening to Jesus and he was scared. Scared that he too would be arrested. So he lied and he kept on lying. Then that rooster crowed, Jesus looked at Peter and Peter slinks off and goes into hiding.
Now before we got too down on Peter stop a minute and think what you would do in the same circumstance. Be honest. For me, I think I would have done exactly what Peter did. Remember, Jesus had not been resurrected yet. For a Jew, the Messiah was supposed to be king that would overthrow Roman rule. For all Peter knew he had chosen the wrong guy. At the time of Jesus’ arrest the best that could happen is if the Jews stoned Jesus, worse case is being handed over to the Romans. Not many people would willingly face either option.
Had Peter just slunk off and was never heard again then maybe we could be a bit more disappointed in him. But to paraphrase Paul Harvey, the rest of the story is amazing. Still I bet Peter wished that he had been truthful from the start. Lies hurt those around us but they eat away at the person telling the lie. It is hard to get past the feeling you betrayed a friend.
Have a blessed day,