At the time Christ was being interrogated and falsely accused, Peter was nearby watching, but not revealing who he was and denying any association with Jesus. He was watching to see what would happen to his friend and hero, Jesus of Nazareth. Christ had warned Peter to "pray that he would not fall into temptation" and had bluntly prophesized that Peter would deny he knew Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.
Sure enough, as Christ was going through that humiliating time of taunts and jeers with the Roman soldiers, Peter was repeatedly asked if he knew Jesus and he steadfastly denied it. But the third time when he was asked if he as a companion of Jesus he swore down oaths that he did not know Jesus. And then two horrible things happened: the rooster crowed and Jesus looked straight and Peter. Peter knew he had failed. He was immediately overcome with remorse and left the square and wept bitterly. He had let Jesus down, he denied his best friend, he showed himself to be a coward!
It's so easy to condemn the failures of Peter, Solomon, David, Samson, and the all other characters in the Bible. But I know that I am no better than them. There's a reason these "flawed" men are recorded in the Bible--they are are our spiritual ancestors. We do the same dumb things they did--and worse. Each time I refuse to forgive, or love the unlovely, or allow my temper to get the best of me, or refuse to respond gently when rebuked, or fail to live in integrity....I deny Jesus Christ. I suggest, by my lack of resolve to allow the new man to made in me, that Christ does not dwell within me and is a fraud.
What if I am truly the only "Jesus" people can see? What if another man's salvation was determined by the manner in which I profess by the way I live that Jesus is the Christ! The truth of the matter is that we people are asking us, in effect, each day, "You are one of His disciples, aren't you?" And either we admit that we are by the character on display and the"Christ within me" life we are leading, or we deny it by our indifference to the souls that are thirsty to see a true disciple of Christ.
If we deny Him, pray that we are confronted by the gift of tears---tears of repentance.