When I read the story about Jesus’ disciples abandoning Him and Peter denying him three times, I can’t help but to wonder: How could they abandon Him after witnessing all of the miracles that Jesus had done? How could Peter, after literally walking on water, deny that He even knew Jesus? Knowing that Jesus is God, wouldn’t that give them enough confidence to stand up for Him?
These questions began to pile in my mind as I read this story and of course, as usual, the Bible itself has the answers. What turned Peter from a coward into a fearless man? What made the difference in the life of these men? I believe two events made it happen. First, they witnessed the risen Jesus and second, they received the Holy Spirit. After these two events, they lived the rest of their life for Jesus and most of them died for Him.
How about us? Why do we deny Him? The times we don’t say anything to defend the Bible when people ridicule it. When we refuse to pray for our meal because there are people around. When we don’t want to mention church or Jesus because it might turn off that cute girl from class. When we simply don’t go to church that week because we rather sleep in or do something “fun”. If we look back at our lives, we will discover that we had many opportunities to say, “Yes, I know Jesus” but instead, by our actions, behavior, and words, we say, “I do not know this man of whom you speak” (Mark 14:71 ESV).
Why do we do it? I think it goes back to the beginning. What two things made the disciples fearless? The resurrection and the Holy Spirit. We do not think about the resurrection often, but it’s so very important to our Christian faith. Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity, no Church, no salvation, no hope. The resurrection should remind us that Jesus defeated death. He resolved the problem of the world: sin. He has the solution and He stepped over His own grave to prove it. Talking about the resurrection of Jesus, remembering it, and letting it be the reality it truly is in our lives, will make us more fearless.
How about the Holy Spirit? If you are a true follower of Jesus then you have the Holy Spirit indwelling inside of you. So why do we deny Him while knowing that the Creator of the universe, the All-Knowing, Mighty, and Powerful God resides in us? We forget. We simply forget that we have God Himself in us. We are not aware of God because we are more aware of our broken relationships, horrible jobs, and our Facebook selfie pictures.
I encourage you to not move past the resurrection. Sit down at the feet of the risen Christ and realize who He is and what He’s done for you. Spend time asking God to make you more aware of Him and ask Him to fill you with more of His Spirit. Why do we deny Jesus? We forget who He is and where He is. He’s God and He’s in you.