Week 3: Denial
As you open your Bible to Luke 22, pray that God's Word would challenge you in a new way.
The word “deny” has a strong meaning. Webster’s Dictionary says that to deny something means to “declare it untrue” or even to “refuse to acknowledge” something. At some point in our life, whether we are 5 or 95 years old, we have denied something. We quickly exclaim, “he/she started it!” and deny our part in the argument. We act as though we haven’t seen a message when confronted about our lack of response. We blame the dog when a family member asks us who ate the last cookie. But have you ever denied that you knew a close friend? Tonight, we’ll read as Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, denies ever knowing his beloved Teacher.
Read Luke 22: 54-62.
It’s not in the text, but why do you think Peter denied his affiliation with Jesus?
Is it difficult to claim being a follower of Jesus outside of the church walls? Why or why not?
This passage is so compelling because three people over the course of several hours noticed Peter walking through the city and almost instantly identified him as one of Jesus’ disciples. Perhaps Peter was afraid that he would be arrested for his association with Jesus, or maybe he was just trying to blend in to his surroundings and didn’t want to stir up questions. We don’t know the exact thoughts running through Peter’s mind, but we can relate to him, can’t we? We can easily become so comfortable in our workplace, our school, or our family that we try not to draw attention to our faith. But do people recognize you as a follower of Jesus?
What actions prove that you are a follower of Christ?
If you did claim to know Jesus to an unbeliever, what are you afraid might happen?
Read Matthew 10:32-33.
According to this passage, if we deny our relationship with Jesus what risk are we taking?
Is avoiding a potentially uncomfortable situation worth straining your relationship with God?
Luke 22:62 shows Peter walking away weeping over his response to the people. Thankfully we serve a very gracious and merciful God who gave Peter—and gives us—another chance. After Jesus’ death, Peter became a crucial part of building the Church and spreading the gospel of Jesus. Thousands of people came to a saving relationship with Jesus because of Peter’s faithful teaching. So even if you have denied Jesus in different areas of your life, tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities. We don’t have to be ashamed or silent about our faith.
What can you do differently this week to acknowledge, not deny, your relationship with Jesus?
Is there something that needs to change in our family so that people clearly recognize us as followers of Christ?
Close your time together in prayer, asking God for the strength and the desire to affirm your closeness to Jesus.