What Jesus Did! 'The First Denial' — John 18:15-18

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Simon Peter followed Jesus [when he was taken away after being arrested and bound], as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest's courtyard with Jesus. Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. The woman asked Peter, "You're not one of that man's disciples, are you?"

"No," he said, "I am not."

Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.

— John 18:15-18 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus protected his disciples from harm. [1] On the other hand, Peter certainly had forgotten his commitment to Jesus. Hours earlier, he had proclaimed his love and had predicted his faithfulness to Jesus even in the face of death. [2] He had proved that faithfulness by drawing a sword and starting to fight to help defend his Lord. [3] Now, however, he wavered in his loyalty when the prospects were not a glorious victory in battle. Confusion, opposition, and disappointment with what we think should be God's methods often lead us to moments of withered loyalty, too. Let's remember the lesson of Peter; just because things are not going the way we think they should go doesn't mean that God has abandoned us. God does bring the victory, but oftentimes it comes at a different time and through a different doorway than we presume.

[1] John 18:8.
[2] Matthew 26:33-35.
[3] John 18:10-11.

Today's Prayer

Our Lord God, forgive me for those times my loyalty wavered and withered under the onslaught of unexpected trials. So often, dear Father, I get an idea of how I think things should go. I expect you to follow my path, rather than for me to be faithful as I follow your path. Forgive my arrogance, my impatience, and my Peter-like confusion and failure. Thank you, dear Father, for the sure knowledge that you do restore those of us who waver and that you do make us stronger even when our weakness has caused that failure. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 22:21-32
  • Proverbs 16:25
  • Proverbs 3:1-7


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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.