Promise Keeping

Scripture Reading — Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75

Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” — Matthew 26:35

In the movie It Can Happen to You, a police officer is unable to pay a tip, so he promises the waitress half of a lottery winning the next day if he wins. He wins four million dollars. His wife does not want him to share the money with the waitress. Cage has to decide ­whether or not to keep his promise, which he does at a price.

Peter made a promise to Jesus: “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” Yet later that night Peter “wept bitterly” because he had denied three times that he knew Jesus, who had now been arrested. How could Peter be a loyal friend at one moment and then disown Jesus the next?

If we are honest, we have to admit that we could have done the same. Peter was probably afraid that he could be arrested and sentenced with Jesus. In fact, all of Jesus’ disciples deserted him that night. Alone outside at dawn, Peter wept bitterly, having broken his relationship with Jesus. But thankfully Peter’s relationship with Jesus did not end there. After his death and resurrection, Jesus forgave and restored Peter to serve him more boldly than before (John 21:15-19).

Our world is full of broken promises. Yet at the center of life is the promise-keeping God who went to the cross to restore our broken world and our broken lives, calling us to serve. We might fail, but God never does.

Prayer

Father, thank you for providing a way back into relationship with you even after we fail. May we serve you faithfully and boldly for Jesus’ sake. Amen.