Day 88 | I Know Not the Man
January 1, 2015 - WEEK THIRTEEN
Carl Heinrich Bloch, Peter’s Denial of Christ, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
CONSIDER AS YOU READ
- If you were appointed to defend Christ in front of Caiaphas and the elders and high priests, what would you have said?
- How could Peter have kept his silence? Did he understand that the trial process must result in Christ’s condemnation and ultimate death?
What pathos there is in those words! Peter, affirming his loyalty, his determination, his resolution, said that he would never deny. But the fear of men came upon him and the weakness of his flesh overtook him, and under the pressure of accusation, his resolution crumbled. Then, recognizing his wrong and weakness, “he went out, and wept.”
As I have read this account my heart goes out to Peter. So many of us are so much like him. We pledge our loyalty; we affirm our determination to be of good courage; we declare, sometimes even publicly, that come what may we will do the right thing, that we will stand for the right cause, that we will be true to ourselves and to others.
Then the pressures begin to build. Sometimes these are social pressures. Sometimes they are personal appetites. Sometimes they are false ambitions. There is a weakening of the will…. There is capitulation. And then there is remorse, self-accusation, and bitter tears of regret.
One of the great tragedies we witness almost daily is the tragedy of men of high aim and low achievement. Their motives are noble. Their proclaimed ambition is praiseworthy. Their capacity is great. But their discipline is weak. They succumb to indolence. Appetite robs them of will.
Now, if there be any … who by word or act have denied the faith, I pray that you may draw comfort and resolution from the example of Peter who, though he had walked daily with Jesus, in an hour of extremity denied both the Lord and the testimony which he carried in his own heart. But he rose above this, and became a mighty defender and a powerful advocate. So too, there is a way for you to turn about, and add your strength and faith to the strength and faith of others in building the kingdom of God (Gordon B. Hinckley, “And Peter Went Out and Wept Bitterly,” Ensign, May 1979, 65–67).
FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER DISCIPLES
- How do you feel when you think of the Lord’s suffering?
- Are you surprised that the soldiers would arrest Jesus even after seeing the miracle of the healed ear?