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Peter's swift defense is followed with cowardice.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

I don’t know this man! part three

Peter smacked his head with his hand. “I can’t think. It’s dark, too dark among these olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane. The crowd ahead of me sounds ugly and their torches bring only splotches of light into the night. My head pounds with the words: Jesus is a prisoner and I cannot help him.

“I can follow the crowd. He is there, somewhere, among the Roman soldiers and temple guards. What is happening to him? He said that he could ask his father for thousands of angels to protect us, and angels would be sent instantly, but I don’t think he is willing to do that. He said the scriptures predicted what was going to happen now and he needed to cooperate.

“For three years Jesus taught me, Peter, a rough fisherman; and eleven other guys. We trusted him. Often, we did not understand him. Tonight, I watched as one of us betrayed him. Judas Iscariot greeted Jesus tonight with a kiss so the guards and soldiers would know whom to arrest.

“It is sickening that our religious leaders sent weapons and military to arrest Jesus. They are supposed to be God’s representatives. Instead, they are jealous of Jesus and plot to kill him.

“They have no charges against him that will stand in court, unless the priests get witnesses to lie in court. Why is Jesus not defending himself? I have seen his power and authority in healing and commanding nature. I have seen him love outcasts. I have watched when he confronted religious leaders for their hypocrisy in seeking money and power instead of God and His Word.”

Peter stopped walking as the crowd arrived at the home of Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest. Several teachers of religious law and other leaders had gathered there.

He stepped to a charcoal fire to warm himself. A servant girl who worked for the high priest looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus, the Nazarene.”

Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you are talking about.” He went to the entrance. A rooster crowed.

When the servant girl saw him at the entrance, she declared to people standing around, “That man is definitely one of them.”

Peter said, “I am not.”

Then bystanders said, “You must be one of them, because you are from Galilee.”

Peter said emphatically, “I swear by God, I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Immediately a rooster crowed a second time.

In a flash Peter remembered that this evening Jesus had told the disciples that they would desert him. Peter had asserted, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.”

Jesus had replied, “The truth is, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

“Peter had insisted, “No! Not even if I have to die with you! I will never deny you!” The other disciples made the same vow.

As he remembered, he went outside and cried bitterly.

This is Barbara Steiner with Todd Warren and Daniela Thomas. Peter’s denial of Christ has often challenged me to be loyal to God.


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