“Peter said to him, ‘Even though they all fall away, I will not.’ And [Jesus] took with him Peter and James and John, and… he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.’ And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed… And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed… And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough.’
“And they led Jesus to the high priest… And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard… One of the servant girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, ‘You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘I neither know nor understand what you mean.’ And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, ‘This man is one of them.’ But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, ‘Certainly you are one of them.’ But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know this man of whom you speak.’ 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.” Mark 14:29,33-35,37-41,53-54,66-72
Peter was taken into the inner circle, and commanded to watch, then specifically by name to watch and pray that weak flesh might not win over his willing spirit. But he fell asleep, followed only at a distance, and in the dark of the scandalous night and heat of the pressured moment, his resolve of fealty crumbled. The rooster crowed, and conviction pierced.
What does it take for us to remain in Christ? To be vigilant, stay alert, resist Satan’s seduction? God has graciously given many cautions in His word, steps to make us strong in faith and against temptation. While it’s easy to spectate and disbelieve Peter’s fall, where have we refused God’s clear warnings against sloth, deception, gossip, situations that dangle sin-traps? When does apathy or personal comfort, selfish priority or fear of man, keep me at a distance and in danger of denying my Lord? (Proverbs 16:27; 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:14-15; 4:8)
Boasts are made easily when life is smooth, but once enters an irritant, a challenge, an enticement, and emotional promises made can evaporate in an instant. Would we pray in reverent dependence, be accountable with a friend, and diligently heed Christ’s words before the pain of the rooster crow?
Lord, keep me tightly connected to You, deep in Your word, faithful in fellowship, snug in your armor, that I may claim and proclaim You under any circumstance, with great joy. (Ephesians 6:10-17)