Peter’s Denial of Jesus (Luke 22:61)
At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
Luke 22:61 KJV
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Has anyone ever called you “chicken” because you didn’t want to do something? What would you do if soldiers showed up to kidnap your best friend? Would you stay or run and hide so the soldiers wouldn’t take you, too?
After Jesus was arrested, Peter faced this very dilemma. Open your Bible and read Luke 22:54-62 to see what happened.
Peter was the only one of Jesus’ disciples who dared to leave the boat and walk on water! Peter had a big heart and a big mouth, which often got him in trouble. I’m a lot like Peter. I, too, am one to jump before I think. More than one experiment has gone awry (which means wrong) because I didn’t take the time to ponder (which means think). Mostly, though, Peter’s leaping to action because he trusted Jesus was a good thing. And yet Peter and I have something else in common too—something not so fizztastic.
This one kid in my class, Max, was good at art—he could sculpt anything out of clay, and he made the best comic strips. They were so funny! One time my friends were making fun of one of Max’s projects. I heard a voice in my head telling me this wasn’t right, but I did nothing.
Then one of my friends tripped Max as he walked by. His clay sculpture fell and shattered into a gazillion pieces. A screw twisted in my stomach, and the voice inside me said this wasn’t right. Yet again, I didn’t listen—I said nothing.
Finally, as Max began to cry over the destruction of his masterpiece, my friends started to laugh and point. And though my stomach churned and the voice sounded louder, I still did nothing. I just followed my friends as they walked down the hall and gave each other high-fives. I heard Max’s whimpers behind me.
That night in my room, I began to cry as I tried to pray. I realized how wrong I’d been. I hadn’t acted as God had created me to act—in fact, like Peter, I’d denied Jesus three times. “I tell you the truth, Peter--this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me” (Matthew 26:34).
Three times the Spirit of God had prompted me to act, and I’d ignored him three times.
I knew what I had to do, so the next day, I sought out (which means looked for) Max. He turned away as I approached, embarrassed. But I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Max, I am very sorry.” I told him I was a Christian but hadn’t acted like one. And that I was sorry for not standing up for him.
Instead of being angry or blowing me off, Max surprised me. He quoted my favorite Bible verse, Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Max smiled. “I forgive you.”
Relief washed over me, and that was a turning point in my life. It wasn’t as though I never sinned again, but I knew that if I did, the best thing I could do was face the one I had wronged and apologize.
And, you know, Peter changed too after Jesus forgave him. Peter became a man of action once again. This time, he would be sure his actions weren’t based on his ideas but on God’s.
“Strengthen your brothers,” Jesus told him. So that’s what Peter did. He became one of the most outstanding, fizztastic leaders of Christ's followers, with his weakness turning to marvelous strength. His story gave me hope then, and it gives me hope today. Is there someone in your life you’ve been unkind to? Or have you stood by while others were unkind to that person? Pray for God to allow you to seek forgiveness from them and perhaps even to become friends.
As a family, take a moment to pray for each other by name—that each of you would have the strength and courage to stand strong in your faith, even in the face of adversity (which means a challenge).
Think of a time you disobeyed Jesus and later asked for His forgiveness. How did it feel to be forgiven by Him? Is there anything you need to ask forgiveness for right now?
Click the button above to conduct a fizztastic experiment connected to this devotional.
Devotional Featured in Faith and Science with Dr. Fizzlebop
Dr. Fizzlebop walks fellow scientists through a wondrous experiment about color. You'll learn firsthand how to make a Rainbow Walk in this neato super simple experiment. Plus go deep into the Bible with a devotion about jealousy and a story from Dr. Fizzlebop's childhood.
You can experience more fizztastic experiments and devotions in Faith and Science with Dr. Fizzlebop which features 57 easy experiments kids and parents can do together once a week or at their convenience. Building on Dr. Fizzlebop’s desire to show kids how faith and science connect, each experiment connects to a devotional that allows kids to go deeper and learn about God’s amazing design for everything around them.
Our expert and guide, Dr. Phineas Einstein Fizzlebop, is a bit quirky and maybe a little cheesy at times, but he is passionate about three things: God, science, and fizz―and all come together wonderfully at Fizzlebop Labs. Guest scientists (families) will journey through the Bible in an extravaganza of experiments and Bible studies full of fun, facts, and fizz.