70But again he denied it falsely and disowned Him. And after a short while, again the bystanders said to Peter, Really, you are one of them, for you are a Galilean and your dialect shows it. – Mark 14:70 (AMP)
Acceptance is and has always been a driving force in human relationship. Self-esteem has too often been built on the unstable foundation of the recognition and approval of others. An immoral society has become the measuring rod by which too many gauge themselves.
Young people assess themselves on the basis of their clothing labels, magazine covers, weight and their favorite Hollywood actor or sports star. Adults evaluate their worth by the car they drive, neighborhood that they live in or the position of employment they fill at their career level.
The compelling influence behind it all: Acceptance.
We desire reception (to be received) not rejection. We want to belong, to be a part of something larger than ourselves. We want to feel needed. That is exactly why the numbers in gangs have been so successful in increasing. In an earnest desire to belong somewhere, anywhere the willingness to blend becomes the compromise that could cost your life.
In today’s Scripture we find Peter who had only hours earlier adamantly proclaimed his “too the death” faithfulness to Jesus, now denying that he even knew Him. What was Peter doing? He was trying to remain close enough to Jesus to see what was going on, but far enough away from Him so that he could blend into the crowd.
Blending in with the crowd and being accepted by them was more important to Peter than being associated with the One he had proclaimed to dearly love.
How could this be? How could Peter, who had walked with Jesus, witnessed the miracles and even stood on the water, as brief as it may have been, now deny his Jesus? This was the same Peter who had answered earlier, when Jesus asked him, who he thought He (Jesus) was, “You are the Messiah”.
Peter wanted to blend.
Have you ever heard the term, “Safety in numbers”? Basically, it’s the belief that you’re less likely to become the victim of something in a large crowd. Although the “idea” works, the problem is that you may align yourself with the wrong crowd. There is another term that bears witness to that, “You are what you hang around with”.
This is the Light in the darkness to me. Peter could not blend. He tried and denied three times. Why couldn’t he blend? Peter had spent so much time in the presence of Jesus and in His crowd that although he did fall and deny Jesus, he was still recognized as being “one of them” (Jesus’ crowd).
God does not intend for you to blend.
Jesus knew and even foretold to Peter that this would occur. In His presence, Peter said, “No Lord! I will go with You to the death!” Jesus loved Peter although He knew what would happen.
God knows our flesh; He knows that we are weak. But like Paul, God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, 2 Corinthians 12:9. It is that mark, the presence of God in our lives that will never allow us to, comfortably, blend in a crowd.
What did Peter do when He realized that he had denied the Lord? Did he give up? Did he allow condemnation, guilt, self-pity and failure to rob God’s plan for the rest of his life? Did he throw in the towel in defeat and say, I screwed up too badly this time, and there is no hope? No.
Mark 14:72 paints a vivid picture of Peter in his moment of realization, breaking down, weeping and lamenting. He was repentant.
Peter went on through-out Scripture to stand out in the crowd…for Jesus. Did he live perfectly after this? No, he was a man of flesh and even had to be corrected by Paul in Galatians 2:11 for once again trying to blend in. But Peter loved the Lord and served Him.
Ultimately Peter did follow the Lord even unto death. He was said to be crucified on a cross, like His Jesus, with one exception. The cross was turned upside down as he stated he was unworthy to be crucified the same way as his Savior. Peter did not blend.
You were created to stand out in a crowd! God had a purpose and a plan for you from the moment you were created. Determining what that plan is can only be found out in His presence. Once you have spent time there with Him, you bear His mark. Try as you may after that to “fit in” with this world it’s impossible! It goes against His plan for your life: God does not intend for you to blend.
Great article... I really enjoyed how you tied the mistake too many Christians make today of trying to blend in to Peter's denial. Good stuff... could easily be turned into a sermon that would hit home for many. Check out my article "Homosexuality and Sin"--let me know what you think! This is my first time visiting this site! God bless!