Today's verses are Mark 14:66-68: "And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, 'You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus. But he denied it, saying, 'I neither know nor understand what you mean.' And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed." As Jesus is being tried, Peter is in the courtyard outside the high priest's palace. There is something admirable about Peter here. At least he is relatively near Jesus. He did follow him, albeit at a distance, during his greatest time of need. No other disciple was in the vicinity. All others had completely deserted Jesus.
Three to four hours earlier, at the last supper, Jesus had predicted that before the cock would crow three times, Peter would deny that he knows Jesus (verses 29,31). As real as Judas' betrayal, Peter would also betray Jesus. He too would fail Jesus.
Here is the first evidence of Jesus' prediction. Peter is warming himself next to a fire. One of the high priest's servant girls was next to him. She recognizes him, perhaps from previous times when Jesus had been teaching in this area. Or perhaps she was with the multitude that arrested him. She says, "You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus." Peter vehemently denies it. He moves away from the fire, probably so he won't be recognized further.
And the rooster crows. Jesus' first prediction is realized.
What is motivating Peter? It must be fear. He fears for his life. His heart is dominated by fear.
Interestingly, fear is the first negative emotion mentioned in the Bible. In the Garden of Eden, after the fall when confronted by God, Adam felt fear (Genesis 3:10). It is a powerful, negative emotion. It is the antithesis of faith. Fear and faith cannot dwell together. That's why, over and over again, the Bible adjures God's people, "Fear not!"
Fear must be fought at every level. You can't even let a little bit into your heart. The only antidote to fear is faith. It is the belief that God controls all, is in all, and is working all together for our good and his glory. When fear knocks on your life's door, you must answer it with faith. Quote the Scripture. Say to fear, "Do not be afraid for I am with you. Do not fear for I am your God. I will strengthen you and protect you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). Eventually, fear must leave. It must abate. It cannot stand in the presence of God's Word spoken in faith.
Peter hadn't yet learned this lesson. But he was on the road of faith, learning to do so.
Most all of us are on this road of faith too. There's no other way to learn this valuable lesson than to walk on it.
I pray Jesus is with you as you walk it today.