When we discover that Spirit-filled men like Peter have fallen, but have risen again, then we have the hope that so can we. Have you fallen? Rise again!
Matthew 26:69-75 — Arise, Wounded Soldier
Hello and welcome to the Bite-Sized Gospel with Aneel Aranha. Today we will reflect on Matthew 26:69-75. Listen.
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Peter was a devout follower of Jesus and had declared his loyalty to him multiple times. Yet, when confronted by a servant girl and others who recognized him as one of Jesus' disciples, Peter denied any association with him. This act of denial was not simply a moment of weakness, but a betrayal of the very person Peter had dedicated his life to following. However, this passage also reveals that Peter's denial was not the end of his story.
The rooster crowing served as a reminder of Jesus' words, and Peter's heart was broken with remorse. It was a turning point for Peter, who would later become a powerful leader in the early church. This passage shows that even the most devoted of Jesus' followers can succumb to fear and weakness, but also that there is always hope for redemption and renewal.
This passage also highlights the transformative power of grace. Peter's denial could have been the end of his relationship with Jesus, but Jesus did not abandon him. Instead, Jesus reached out to Peter after his resurrection, offering him forgiveness and commissioning him to continue his ministry. Through the power of grace, Peter was able to move beyond his denial and become a powerful witness for Christ.
Scripture is filled with similar stories of fallen heroes. It doesn't gloss over the failures of its superstars (even though we do) and tells it as it happened. So we read about the sinfulness of David and Samson who gave into their weakness for women; the cowardice of Abraham and Isaac who passed off their wives as their sisters so that the Egyptians wouldn't kill them; and the animosity between Paul and Barnabas that became so sharp they parted company. We read about how Jeremiah and Job cursed the day they were born, while Elijah and Jonah wished they were dead!
If you have ever wondered why these stories are in the Bible, it is to give us hope. When we discover that Spirit-filled men have fallen, but have risen again, then we have the hope that so can we. Have you fallen? Rise again! I wrote a song titled, “Arise, Wounded Soldier.” I hope it gives you added inspiration.
May the Spirit be with you.
Arise, wounded soldier
It’s time to fight again
The battle you thought you’d totally lost
Is just about to begin
Awake, sleeping Christian
And gird up for the war
The weapons we use aren’t the weapons of the world
They have divine power.
Speak, silent preacher,
Start proclaiming the word
The things that God said are coming to pass
So use his mighty sword.
We don’t fight with guns and knives
Bio warfare ain’t our thing
We leave them dirty bombs alone
And don’t add to suffering
We just wield a mighty sword
It’s called the Word of God
Wrapped up in this thing called love
That we learned from the Lord of Lords
“Arise, Wounded Soldier” is the 30th song written and composed by Aneel Aranha, mixed and sung by Kendrae Frame, with guitar accompaniment by Froilan Sequeira. https://youtu.be/9NL0BiABjXA