As the playground teacher on duty, this scenario happens many times. You see a couple of kids doing something suspicious, so you begin your walk over to them. Before you get there, a crowd of kids begin to gather to see what’s up. By the time you get there, arguments ensue of blaming each other for causing the teacher to come over. The funny thing is they really think we don’t know what is going on when we have watched the whole thing happen. Silly kids. The first words overheard by the teacher are, “NOT ME!” “It wasn’t me!” “I didn’t….” NO, not me!”
As Jesus is being interrogated, does He hear Peter, say, “Not me!”? Probably.
John 18, The Message
12-14 Then the Roman soldiers under their commander, joined by the Jewish police, seized Jesus and tied him up. They took him first to Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the Chief Priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.
15-16 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the Chief Priest, and so he went in with Jesus to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Peter had to stay outside. Then the other disciple went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and got Peter in.
17 The young woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”
He said, “No, I’m not.”
18 The servants and police had made a fire because of the cold and were huddled there warming themselves. Peter stood with them, trying to get warm.
19-21 Annas interrogated Jesus regarding his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly in public. I’ve taught regularly in meeting places and the Temple, where the Jews all come together. Everything has been out in the open. I’ve said nothing in secret. So why are you treating me like a conspirator? Question those who have been listening to me. They know well what I have said. My teachings have all been aboveboard.”
22 When he said this, one of the policemen standing there slapped Jesus across the face, saying, “How dare you speak to the Chief Priest like that!”
23 Jesus replied, “If I’ve said something wrong, prove it. But if I’ve spoken the plain truth, why this slapping around?”
24 Then Annas sent him, still tied up, to the Chief Priest Caiaphas.
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was back at the fire, still trying to get warm. The others there said to him, “Aren’t you one of his disciples?”
He denied it, “Not me.”
26 One of the Chief Priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
27 Again, Peter denied it. Just then a rooster crowed.
Jesus steps up in the garden and says, It’s me. And later Peter says, “Not me.” The Divine steps up to complete the mission. The human cowers in fear. The human denies he knows the Divine but later is forgiven and used to build the church of God. Wow.
–Where am I? Am I still denying Jesus at times when I am too scared to speak up for what is right, holy and good?
–Where am I? Do I sing songs of worship on Sunday and then hide by the fire in the world, compromising everything I say I believe on Monday?
–Do I say, “not me…just live and let live”? Oh, dear Lord, help us.
Hope and Encouragement: Peter denied he knew Christ. Peter was forgiven and then given a mighty work to stand up for Jesus and build His church. Wow! There is nothing God won’t forgive in our lives. We are everything to Him. He is everything to us. What worth and value we are to Him who saves us!
Dear Heavenly Father, Give us boldness by the Power of Your Holy Spirit living in and through us to stand and say, It’s me who believes in Jesus Christ, who paid the debt for our sins. It’s me who loves You with all that is within me. My desire is to be all You intended for me to be, nothing less! May they know we are Yours by Your love in us. In Jesus Name, Amen