Small Matters: “The Servant Girls”
Today marks number eleven of our twelve-part sermon series entitled “Small Matters.” During this series we have studied and learned about “little known” or “obscure” characters in the Bible who give us an opportunity to realize that God doesn’t waste any detail. These characters provide an incredible opportunity to learn from God’s wisdom in exacting His plan for us. Today’s characters are not named but challenge our thinking in a significant way. Our “Small Matters” characters are the Servant Girls who questioned the identity of Peter the disciple as he stood nearby the proceedings of Jesus’ trials that led to his crucifixion.
Matthew 26:69-72 69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. 71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Peter’s response to the first servant girl and then repeated again to the second is especially notable in the light of what he had said earlier in this same chapter.
Matthew 26:32-35 - 31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” 35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Why did he react the way he did when the servant girl identified him?
Peter, simultaneously shocked and horrified, was also afraid of his own seemingly perilous situation. Surely, he was afraid that association with the one on trial would make him culpable and subject to whatever charges they were levering again his master.
So the logical reaction? Peter acts like he doesn’t know anything The servant girl correctly identifies Peter but does Peter identify Jesus? He missed a prime opportunity to do what he said he would do. And I quote Peter: “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will! Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”
The Servant Girls:
1. What can we learn from very specific and pointed words by the first servant girl that actually looks like a statement but spoken like a question? – “you also were with Jesus of Galilee.”
2. The second servant girl’s statement isn’t even a question, in fact, it was a very succinct incriminating question! – ““This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
Peter is following Jesus – he’s just doing it from afar. Do we do that?
Let’s begin to unpack how this might impact our lives as we contemplate this situation.
When Peter heard the rooster crow – he remembered with vivid shock the words of Christ spoken to Him just hours earlier –
Matthew 26:34 - “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
Also, more than likely Peter recalled what Jesus had spoken a few months before that.
Matthew 10:32-33 - “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.”
Peter’s reaction was swift – Matthew 26:35 - 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Legacy Church’s Mission Statement Reads: “To Develop Fully-Devoted Followers of Jesus Christ.”
Luke 9:22-26 22 “The Son of Man[e] must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” 23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.
How do you do it?
How do you un-ashamedly stand for Christ in every situation, 24/7?