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A State of Denial

Briefing: Have you ever done something that was wrong but consciously, you did not consider it to be improper? Have you ever rolled through a stop sign without first coming to a complete stop? Have you ever driven faster than the posted speed limit, knowing you are violating the law? The answer is yes, we all have.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 18:15-18.

On the Street: It is interesting how humans have the ability to convince themselves of something that is not true. Like the questions in the “Briefing” section, I used to have a bad habit of racing through yellow lights. The truth is, I was running red lights. The only thing that made me face the truth of my actions was a couple of red light cameras. Nowadays, I am very conscious of what it means when a traffic signal goes from green to yellow.

The first time I got caught, I was mad and made a bunch of excuses why I was not guilty. The second time, I was a lot more upset than the first time; so was my wife. I think I was more embarrassed that I had been caught for a second time. The third (and last) red light ticket I got, I realized that I needed to change my driving habits (repentance).

Peter’s reaction to his first denial of Christ is very typical of human behavior. He seems to try to play it off and does not make a big deal of it. Matthew’s Gospel says when Peter was confronted the first time he said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.” Matthew 26:70 (NIV). All four Gospels agree on this response by Peter.

I believe this is a great question for every one of us to internalize and ask ourselves. Have we gotten complacent in our acknowledgement of Jesus in our lives? We have got to be more intentional about the way we live for Christ.

When the army came looking for Jesus in the garden and communicated they were looking for Him, Jesus answered, “I am He”. When one girl asks Peter if he was one of Jesus’ followers, he says, “I am NOT”. At times, Peter was a complete contrast to Jesus. Sometimes I feel like I am too. Luckily, Jesus does not see us that way.

Investigational Resources: The other Gospel accounts of Peter’s denial are found in Matthew 26:69-70, Mark 14:66-68, and Luke 22:55-57.

Officer Safety Principle: To live the life of a Christian, we have to put forth the effort. It requires action on our part. Be a Christian in action.

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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