A Profile in Courage

Read: Mark 14:54, 66-72

Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. (v. 54)

It is easy to criticize Peter for his denial of Jesus. But in reality, his denial never would have happened had he not had a huge amount of courage and commitment to Jesus.

Think about it: Peter stayed with Jesus despite the fact that the others all ran away. And going with Jesus meant the threat of danger for him. After all, it was he who had drawn his sword in the garden when the entourage from the high priest and the religious leaders arrived. Ready to take on the whole mob by himself, he had wounded the high priest’s servant. Common sense would have dictated that he lay low.

But here he is, putting himself in harm’s way. And wouldn’t you know it? Someone recognized him: “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus” (v. 67). Three times the condemning words came at him; and three times he denied knowing Jesus. True, it was a sad and somber moment for Peter, and for us too—because we also at times are guilty of denying our Lord.

But there is good news here, too. There is probably only one person who could have reported this incident—Peter himself. Everyone else had fled. So, it’s as if Peter is saying to us, “This is what I did, and this amazing Jesus just kept on loving me.” —John Koedyker

As you pray, ask God to give you courage to follow him even when it is difficult.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

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