When have you really enjoyed making a mess?
Making a mess in the kitchen is one thing. Making a mess of life is quite another. I can clean the kitchen to the point you’d never know I was in there. But when I make a mess of my life, I can’t just wipe away the evidence—or the consequences—with a good disinfectant.
Have you ever found yourself at rock bottom?
It may have been because of an inappropriate relationship, a string of lies, or a temptation or habit that seemed to gradually take over everything in life. At that moment, you stand at a crossroad. Do you continue down the road you’re on, continuing to repeat the mistakes because the pain of changing seems greater than the pain of remaining the same? Or do you look to Jesus for a way out?
Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, knew what it meant to mess up. He failed in a big way. But Peter’s story also offers us encouragement and points us to the way out—a fresh start in Jesus Christ.
Let’s take a look at John 18:15-18, 25-27 from the CSB translation,
15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, as was another disciple. That disciple was an acquaintance of the high priest; so he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. 16 But Peter remained standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the girl who was the doorkeeper and brought Peter in. 17 Then the servant girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” “I am not,” he said. 18 Now the servants and the officials had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them, warming himself. … 25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Peter denied it again. Immediately a rooster crowed.
Peter had been through a lot on this particular evening:
- The last supper
- Failing Jesus by falling asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane
- Witnessing Judas’ betrayal
- Fighting the temple guards
- And watching Jesus allow Himself to be arrested and taken away
None of these events excuse Peter’s denials, but they do help us recognize that he was surely exhausted and confused. His whole world had been turned upside down. Still, after all the disciples initially ran away from Jesus’ arrest (see Matt. 26:55), Peter at least made an effort to get near enough to see and hear what was going on—as long as he could do it undetected.