I recently attended a conference. As I approached the entrance and scrambled to find my ticket, the woman at the door said, “I know you! Come on in!” I graciously laughed and thanked her while walking in. Did she know me? Honestly, I thought about her comment several times that day. Not necessarily whether she knew me, but how she welcomed me.

Later that day, several school-aged kids were positioned at the doorway handing out a conference survey. As I walked past them, one youngster asked, “Do you need one of these?” I said, “No.” ( I truly didn’t.) He asked, “Did you fill one out already?” I paused. I confess that my “yes” was on my tongue. Knowing that would be untruthful, I turned and said, “No, I didn’t, but I can fill one out.” Then I took the form. This time the doorkeeper provided a moment of wrestling, conviction and confession. What a difference a doorkeeper makes! In either case, both were doing their jobs.

John 18:16-17 (NLT) states, “Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. The woman asked Peter, ‘You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?’ ‘No,’ he said, ‘I am not.’” This was Peter’s first denial as Jesus had earlier predicted. In Mark 14:68, when the woman asks if Peter was one of those with Jesus the Nazarene, he responds by saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The Pulpit Commentary described this as “he thought to have established for himself a perfect incognito.”

I had not ever been challenged by who had questioned Peter in these denials until this week. My NIV Study Bible references this woman at the door as “the most unimportant person imaginable.” And “Peter took the easy way out.”

What do you think Peter was thinking as he gave his reply? Was the “gatekeeper” unimportant to Peter? Or was he battling fear? Pride? A lack of understanding of what was happening? Could it be some part of all of these? Peter’s character is one that many of us can relate to. He was quick to act or speak without thinking. A deep feeler who often runs ahead of others. Peter was an incredible leader, a problem-solver and Jesus’ dear friend. We know he loved Jesus immensely, yet he denied his relationship with Jesus.

While this can seem shocking, we all have this capability within us. Whether it is who we are talking to or what we are talking about, may our words be loving and truthful. Let our answer be a reflection of Whose we are.

Tammy De Armas
EFCC Member

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