Mark devotes the better part of chapter 14 to Peter’s greatest failure. One of the things that gives the Bible credibility is that it doesn’t airbrush it’s saints. Moses the deliverer is a murderer, King David is an adulterer and the Apostle Peter is a spineless liar. One area in which I disagree with the catholic church is that they have a special category of Christians called “saints”. These are people the church has deemed to have lived a holy life, conducted miracles, and suffered for the gospel. While these are all commendable traits, these limitations on sainthood are not warranted in the New Testament. Paul refers to all the members of God’s church as saints. Our sainthood has nothing to do with our goodness, but God’s goodness.
I have a dear friend who told me once that he wouldn’t trust somebody unless they had experienced some kind of failure. If the picture is too good to be true, it is too good to be true. I admit that I am comforted by this weak moment in Peter’s life. This rejection of Jesus doesn’t make me respect him less, it makes me trust him more. I’m not saying that we should revel in our mistakes, I’m just confessing that our flaws are what make us more believable. One thing that I respect most in a person is authenticity. The person who seems to have no flaws is hiding.
One of the burdens of being a pastor is that people sometimes place unrealistic expectations on us. They want us to be airbrushed. They expect us to walk around saying “God told me” all day as if we have a special pipeline to God. The truth is that there are times when God feels as silent and distant to me just as He does to you. There are other times when I like Peter fail the Lord and I’m reminded by crowing roosters of my sins as I crawl into Good Friday weeping remembering that the only thing that makes me special is God’s grace.