Growing up in a respectable family in his community, Roy led a life of affluence with a bright future before him. His father, a successful medical doctor, was so proud when his son decided to enter medical college.
Then right before his eyes, all that looked so promising began to collapse like a deck of cards. A new school brought him new friends. But these colleagues were living on the edge, and their company took Roy on a downward spiral.
After only two years in medical college, nothing seemed to be going right. He was into drugs, and with his new pastime, his health began to waste away and his grades were slipping—he was failing. To top it off, this wayward student found out he was going to be fathering a child. His world was falling apart around him.
His parents got wind of his wild life and were completely devastated. Roy found himself shaking his head saying, “I just can’t believe how it all happened.” In essence, he was saying, “I can’t believe I did this!” Then when things could not get much worse, Roy’s best friend, who had always been there no matter what, jumped off a 12-story building and committed suicide.
Can it get any worse? I believe there is a key New Testament personality who would answer, “Yes, it can!” Maybe we should look briefly at a mortifying part of his story as told in all four of the Gospels.
Then seizing him [Jesus], they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”
“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter (Luke 22:54–61, emphasis mine).
What a horrific moment that must have been. The Son of God had heard Peter’s hot words of denial, and after listening, Jesus, the prisoner, turned and looked straight at His disciple.
What a dreadful turn of events for Peter. In his wildest dreams, he never would have believed himself capable of what he had just done. We know this was traumatic for him, because the passage reports that “he went outside and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).