Denial: The Ultimate Indifference

Peter denies his Lord

Scripture reference: Mark 14:53-54, 66-72

Peter's denial of his Lord

“The Denial of St Peter” c. 1610 Oil on canvas, by Caravaggio

First I’d like you to help sing a song, and then I’m going to tell you about Peter and his light.

Who knows a song that starts with the words “This little light…”? Can you help me sing it?

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, (2x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine, (2x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Won’t let Satan blow it out, I’m gonna let it shine, (2x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

It was very dark and it was very late at night in the city of Jerusalem. But no-one was asleep at the house of Caiaphas, the high priest. They were waiting … waiting … There he came, our Jesus, tied up between two soldiers. That’s who they were waiting for – Jesus! “AT LAST,” said the rulers of the Pharisees. “Now we’ve got him! Now we can get rid of him!” And they rubbed their hands together, and they took Jesus upstairs. Then they spit on Jesus and blindfolded Jesus and hit him.

Where were Jesus’ disciples? Didn’t Peter say he would always, always stay with Jesus, no matter what? Maybe they all ran away when the soldiers tied up Jesus in the garden….

But, wait, there was Peter, hiding in the yard. Peter ran away , all right, but he came back because he loved Jesus. Peter followed the solders, all the way to the house of the high priest. Peter could see Jesus upstairs. But Peter was so afraid. He didn’t want anyone to know he was one of Jesus’ helpers! What if they caught him, too, and tied him up just like Jesus, and spit on him, and hit him? Peter was so scared that he hid his love for Jesus, and he kept his love for Jesus a secret. Peter hid his light three times in a row.

There was a fire burning in the yard, and the night was cold, so Peter went to warm his hands by the fire. A servant girl looked at Peter’s face and said,

“Weren’t you with that man Jesus?”

Peter’s heart pounded. He was terrified. “No, no, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And Peter’s light flickered for the first time.

A little later, another servant girl said, “I’m sure this man is one of Jesus’ disciples.” Again Peter lied. “NO I don’t know him.” And Peter’s light flickered for the second time.

Once more, one of the men looked at Peter’s face and said, “You must be one of Jesus’ disciples. You talk just like one of them. And… didn’t I see you in the garden with him?” That’s when Peter’s face became pale and Peter began to curse and swear again:”I DON”T KNOW what you’re talking about.” And Peter’s light flickered for the third time that night.

Then Peter looked up. He saw Jesus looking at him very sadly, and Peter ran away into the darkness, crying, because he had lied about the Jesus he loved so much.

Listen to Denise Hewitt’s version of “This Little Light of Mine.”

If you’re partial to Odetta’s rendition…

2 thoughts on “Denial: The Ultimate Indifference

  1. Thanks Nellie. One could also turn your title around in other circumstances and say, “Indifference, the ultimate denial.”

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