66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
1. Have you ever been in a setting where being known as a disciple of Jesus could be dangerous to your career or even to a romance or friendship? When? Where? Do you know someone else who’s there right now?
2. When Peter denied he was with Jesus, why do you think he did that? What was at stake?
3. Do you think Peter heard the rooster crow the first time? Why or why not?
4. How do you think Peter felt about the servant girl telling everyone he was a disciple of Jesus?
5. Do you think there are Christians denying they know Jesus today? Have you ever been as vehement as Peter in his denial? If not with words, what about by your consistent choices?
6. What is the worst thing you have ever done as a human being? As a Christian? Have you ever talked with a pastor about that? Have you ever talked with anyone about that?
7. Peter wept bitterly when he remembered that the Lord Jesus had told him all that would happen in advance. Is there anything you have done or left undone over which you should weep bitterly? Have you taken that in prayer to the Lord Jesus?
8. Are you going to worship at St. Matthew’s at noon today? It’s only 30 minutes. You might arrive early or stay late for quiet prayer.
9. Who are you going to invite to worship with you this week and weekend? Are you praying for that person or those persons?
10. If you know someone dear who has been denying she or he knows Jesus, then what would it take for you to say, “I think it might make a difference in your life if you came to worship with me”?
Come, Holy Spirit, to show me how very like Peter I have been. Bring to my painful remembrance the ways that I have denied my Lord in the past and the ways I keep denying Him today. If I have been afraid to say that I am Jesus’ disciple, then help me to remember that Peter, on the other side of confession and forgiveness, became the leader of the twelve after the Lord’s ascension. Give me grace to stop making excuses for why I cannot keep Holy Week both at church and away. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Place 42 pennies, nickels, or dimes in a large bowl with the intent to provide farm animals to help the global poor support their families.
Pastor Samuel D. Zumwalt, STS
St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Wilmington, North Carolina
The Daily Readings are from English Standard Version, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers