Let Him Who Thinks He Stands Take Heed Lest He Fall
Read Matthew 26:57-75
He who had been quick to draw his sword in defense of Jesus (26:50), was now “following him at a distance” (26:57), in the words of one 18th century commentator, “midway between the spirit displayed in v. 51 and the fear evinced in v. 70.” Peter’s faith was on its way down, and he would shock himself before finally pulling out of the tailspin.
When first recognized as a companion of Jesus, he of divine insight feigned ignorance. “I do not know what you mean,” Peter said (26:70). With the second and third denials he added oaths (didn’t Jesus say something about not taking oaths?). That’s when the cock crowed, and Peter wept bitter tears. One tradition says Peter was never again able to keep from weeping upon hearing a rooster crow. Whether true or not, he certainly must have been “poor in spirit” (5:3) for the rest of his life, knowing that the strength of a believer’s faith can not be known until it is tested.