Tuesday, March 30, 2021
I wanted to be accepted. I was fearful that as the new kid I would be rejected. I wanted to impress my new friends. My desire to fit into this new group was so powerful that I lied about who I was in front of witnesses who knew the real me. It was a disaster.
Peter found himself in the same situation in today’s Scripture passage from the Gospel of John.
John 18:12-17 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. 15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.”
Have you ever lied about who you were in front of someone who knew the truth?
Jesus has been arrested. He has been taken to the high priest. Peter and another disciple follow Jesus. The other disciple, John, who never uses his own name in his Gospel, was allowed to go inside because he was known to the high priest. Peter stayed outside. But John wanted Peter inside. He went to the door and asked the servant girl to bring him in. As Peter enters, with John present, he denies that he is a disciple of Jesus. He lied right in front of a witness.
Of course, Jesus knew he had lied even though He may not have heard it. But John certainly heard it. Peter was living in such fear that he believed it was more beneficial to be accepted by a servant girl than tell the truth. He stood right next to another disciple and lied.
Fear of not fitting in is a powerful motivator. Fear of personal consequences based on reputation is another force that drives our decision-making. Peter succumbed to both. He chose to lie hoping it would gain him entrance into the house. Yet right beside him was another disciple who was known as the disciple of Jesus and was already inside. Fear causes irrational thinking and illogical choices.
Are there fears driving your choices in life? Are you lying about who you are because you think you know how others will respond to the truth? Are you in any way denying relationship to Jesus because you think it benefits you in some way?
More people than you think know the truth about you, yet they still accept you and love you. In fact, when you admit the truth of who you are, they will love you even more. It’s time to start being real.