In 50 countries with the highest concentration of persecution, 4,136 people died for their faith in 2018. This figure represents real people with real lives, families, jobs, churches—who every day made the dangerous choice to believe in and trust Jesus.
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.
“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.
68 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” 70 Again he denied it.
After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”
71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”
72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
It’s easy for us to point our finger at Peter and say he was weak or that we can’t believe he would deny knowing Jesus. But imagine if one of your closest friends was just sentenced to death for something he didn’t do. If there was a possibility that the same thing could happen to you, just for being associated with him, you’d probably find it difficult to admit your relationship too! We read that this denial did not come without remorse. By the time Peter remembered what Jesus had said, he was filled with shame and was brought to tears.
Those 4,136 people were committed not to make Peter’s mistake and it cost them their lives. Although most of us will never be faced with the decision to choose Jesus or die, we should be careful not to deny Him in our routine activities. Our decisions, our words and our priorities are the evidence of living our lives for Christ. He gave His life for us, and for that we owe Him everything. Every day people are being imprisoned, tortured and killed, because they refuse to deny the name of Jesus. And He is worth it!!!
Jacob Brown is a founding plant team member at The Table. For the past 5 years he has also used his gifts serving on the Leadership Team. Currently, Jacob oversees the management of our facility here at The table.