To think that Peter showed himself a coward in this story is a mistake we often make. But for a Galilean to sneak his way onto the High Priest’s property was a bold and courageous move. Peter, sitting there by the fire, struggled between courage and cowardice. He wants to be there for Jesus, but in the moment of testing, fear gripped him and he denied his Lord. All four gospels tell of Peter’s denial, not to embarrass him, but rather to encourage us. If I am honest, there are times when in the moment I have succumbed to fear, thought only of myself and denied my Lord, not by renouncing my faith, but simply through inaction of keeping silent. It’s worth remembering, the Lord’s loving patience will continue to pursue you, and seek to restore you.
“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.