Summary: First-person account of Peter, at the time of the cockcrow denial, remembering the times he had embarassed himself and Jesus when he could have made a witness.
This knife, this bloody knife! Why did I keep it, why did I not throw it into the Brook Kidron while I had a chance? It could become evidence. They will have the assault weapon and they will tie me to it. Great God, I am going to be arrested! I am going to be taken prisoner. Who knows what they will do to me if they find out that I have been with Him? This knife .. where can I hide it, where can I at least wipe off Malchus’ blood? I’m sure the woman saw it. She knew. She knew!
Whew! It’s cold. Getting colder by the minute. I feel an icy grip; not just in my bones, but in my very heart. I have never been so scared as this. Not when my boat capsized and dumped me in Gennesaret; not when my wife’s mother was so sick I thought she would die; not even when I sank into the waters trying to run out to the boat. Those were bad, but not as bad as this. I’m scared. I’m terrified. But I dare not show it. If I show it, I will draw attention to myself. And then somebody beside the woman at the gate will know. Somebody who might take me into custody.
The thing to do is to look calm. To join the crowd and blend in. The fire looks good. I could use some warmth right now. The fire may calm my nerves. While I wait for John to come back I will put these rough, red, fisherman’s hands over the flames.
Good. I don’t think they know. No one is saying anything. Maybe I’ve gotten away with it this time, hiding who I am, I mean. Maybe for once in my life I’ve been able to stifle my overactive mouth and keep myself from embarrassment. Maybe this time is different.
Oh, when I think of all the embarrassing moments in my time with Him. Three years of nothing but bleating blusters and wayward words. How many times?
Let’s see. It started at the beginning. There I was, just a boy from the village of Bethsaida, minding my own business and catching fish every day. The Sea of Gennesarett was generous some days, stingy other days, but we did well enough. We kept ourselves alive and sold to others. My father Jonah and my brother Andrew and I could have spent our days in Bethsaida and never ventured anywhere else. After all, I was just doing what my father had done, and what his father before him had done, and his father before that, as far back as anybody can remember, that’s what we did. We fished so that we could eat; we ate so that we could fish. We mended our nets so that we could fish; and we fished to be able to afford new nets. That’s just what we did; we fished.
It was rather boring. It didn’t seem to be leading anywhere. So predictable. Something in me wanted adventure. I wasn’t satisfied out there on the lake. True, I had good friends, a good family, a wife. I had all that anybody in my village had. I guess all that most of us even knew to wish for. But still, there was something missing. That touch of excitement. Zest. Stimulation. More.
And it was not just me, either. My brother Andrew had already found something else to do. Andrew had gone off to follow a wandering preacher named John. The Baptizer, they called him, because his message called people to repentance, and then John would take them out into the river and immerse them in water. Cleanse them, he would say. Andrew went in for that. I didn’t. Just didn’t reach me. Not much good at confessing sin, you know. I’d rather be doing something, getting on with something. Not too interested in spilling my guts out there for everybody to see.
But Andrew was different. Andrew thought John the Baptizer was on to something, and followed him around, trying to get others to come and listen. Andrew was always like that – when he believed something, he wanted to be a witness. He wanted to tell everybody. Not a bad thing, I guess. If something has happened to you, share it. Andrew is a good man. I wonder where he is right now. Oh, Lord, not here, I hope! If my brother should come out of the shadows he will start telling these soldiers how wonderful the Teacher is, and I … !
Maybe I’d better shrink back a little. Just kind of get out of the light here. I cannot risk being found out, not now! And that woman? She’s still back at the gate, isn’t she? Not going inside to get anybody? All right, I think I’m going to be safe.