Three times denied just as easily happens today

Theology In The Trenches By Kathleen Kjolhaug
Sunday, October 17, 2021

“Upon this rock I will build my church,” states Jesus in (Matt. 16:18). He says these words to Peter and what Jesus says, He does. Jesus did what He said.

“Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times” (Matt. 26:75). Jesus says this to Peter and what Jesus says, happens. It happened just like He said.

Not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES! How could one possibly deny Him three times? How could someone who had been chosen not only to build up the church but chosen to be the rock for foundational purposes…deny Him three times?

Easy it is to look at Peter and wonder what on earth he was thinking. He, of all people, should not only have known better but should have been able to stand stronger. After all, he was the bedrock chosen upon which to not only build church, but THE church, His church, His message, His Word moving forward to all generations!

What was he thinking? Human at best was Peter and I suppose not even a commissioning done by Jesus himself could change the fact that Peter was first and foremost mere mortal. After all, isn’t that why we like him? I mean, if Peter, the rock, can falter and still be chosen by God, perhaps there’s hope for us all.

Well, pride comes rearing up every so oft and looking down on the choices Peter makes comes easy enough. Three times seems like a lot! Had he done it the first time, who could blame him? But then, the second and third time seem to roll easily right on out of him. Oh Peter!

I was up-and-at-em early one morn…as it was a good time to take time to listen to His still small voice. Within me, I knew well the call to pause and beckon it did. Only one problem, I did not respond. Well, I did, but it was to the click of a button on my cell phone in order to gather messages sent my way. A second nudge to come tarry a while pressed on my heart…and with a second click of a button, I once again could see what else was new in the world. And finally, the quiet voice within begged to put Him first. And so, I did…right after I clicked the button yet a third time.

Three times I denied my Lord. Suddenly, I realized how much like Peter I was…and am. Would I have denied Him three times back in the day? I used to think I would not have. Now I know I most certainly would have.

How reassuring is 2 Sam. 22:2 when it was told long before Peter ever arrived on the scene. “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer.”

The Lord is my rock…not Peter. The Lord is my fortress, not me. The Lord is my deliverer…the One who delivered Peter from his own short comings. When I fall short, give me strength that I may abide in You as You are my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer. Amen.

Kathleen Kjolhaug lives outside of Clear Brook, Minn., with her husband Pete and their six children. She can be reached by email at