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Humble Hero

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    Peter Fails

    But the woman doorkeeper looked carefully at him. She noticed the dejection on his face and thought he might be a disciple of Jesus. Curious to know, she asked, “You are not also one His disciples, are you?” Peter was startled and confused; he pretended not to understand. But she persisted. Peter felt compelled to answer, and he said angrily, “Woman, I do not know Him.” This was the first denial, and immediately the rooster crowed. In pretending to have no involvement with Jesus, Peter had become an easy prey to temptation.HH 327.2

    Someone else called attention to him the second time, claiming he was a follower of Jesus. Peter now declared with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” Another hour passed, when a close relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off asked him, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” “Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” At this Peter flew into a rage. In order fully to deceive his questioners and justify his pretended identity, Peter now denied his Master with cursing and swearing. Again the rooster crowed. Peter heard it and remembered the words of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” Mark 14:30.HH 327.3

    While the degrading oaths were fresh on Peter’s lips and the shrill crowing of the rooster was ringing in his ears, the Savior turned and looked directly at His poor disciple. At the same time, Peter’s eyes were drawn to his Master. In that gentle expression he read deep pity and sorrow, but no anger.HH 327.4

    The sight of that suffering face, those quivering lips, pierced his heart like an arrow. Peter remembered his promise of a few short hours before, when the Savior told him he would deny his Lord three times that very night. Peter now realized how accurately his Lord had read his the falseness of heart, which he had not known himself.HH 327.5

    A tide of memories rushed over him. The Savior’s long-suffering, His patience—he remembered it all. He reflected with horror on his own falsehood, his perjury. Once more he saw an ungodly hand raised to strike his Master in the face. Unable to endure the scene any longer, he rushed, heartbroken, from the hall.HH 327.6

    He hurried on in solitude and darkness, not knowing or caring where. At last he found himself in Gethsemane. He remembered with bitter remorse that Jesus had agonized in prayer alone. He remembered His solemn instruction, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” Matthew 26:41. It was torture to his bleeding heart to know that he had added the heaviest burden to the Savior’s humiliation and grief. Peter fell on his face and wished that he would die.HH 327.7

    If he had spent those hours in the garden in watching and prayer, Peter would not have been left to depend on his own feeble strength. He would not have denied his Lord. If the disciples had watched with Christ in His agony, they would have been prepared to witness His suffering on the cross. Amid the gloom of the most trying hour, hope would have lighted up the darkness and sustained their faith.HH 327.8

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