Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 21
We cannot read the shameful behavior of Peter without it resonating in our souls. How many times do we say “I won’t deny,” but then we do? We deny by our words, our mannerisms, and our choices. Jesus warned Peter that he would deny, but just like us, he vehemently said, “I won’t.” But the proof is in the pudding, he did deny, and we do as well.
It is in the next step that we want to focus on. Judas betrayed but did not exhibit shame like Peter. How often do we hide behind our shame like Judas? How often do we exhibit shame in our tears as Peter did? What caused the difference? Judas never saw the eyes of Jesus, but Peter did. The eyes tell us the heart of the individual, and as Jesus looked at Peter, the soul of Peter crashed. It was in that moment that his bravado turned to his bitterness of shame, and he wept.
But then the grace of our Lord sought to restore Peter on that day in Galilee by the seashore. As he denied Jesus three times, Jesus would restore him with three questions: Do you love me, Peter? With each question, Peter had to determine his love quotient. In his shame, he had to walk through those questions, and we do as well. Do we love Jesus? Then Jesus tells us to feed his lambs, shepherd his sheep, feed his sheep and follow Him.