But Peter Followed Him at a Distance…

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Those who had arrested Jesus took Him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed Him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. — Matthew 26:57-58

I’d been a follower of Christ for just over a year, having dedicated my life to Him at a youth retreat. It was an exciting time of growth but also a time of sorrow. I lost friends because I had no desire to engage in activities or conversations that wouldn’t honor my God.

So I clung to my Bible and rushed home after school each afternoon eager to read more. I desperately wanted to know how to live this new Christian life in a way that made Jesus proud.

Despite my sincerity, the day came when I felt I had failed God. A new group of kids at school had taken me in, and they challenged my faith. They asked hard questions about God’s existence and were eloquent in arguing that he didn’t exist. So the normally chatty me often became silent. There were times when I should have said something, but I remained painfully wordless.

I was distressed over my silence, but one evening I ready Matthew 26:58: “But Peter followed Him at a distance…” That was me! I followed Jesus, but often at a distance, not wanting others to label me a “Jesus Freak”. That night I decided to step out of the shadows. I wanted to be so closely associated with Jesus that the opinion of others didn’t matter.

As I read more of Peter’s life, I witnessed his three-time denial, his sorrow, his repentance and eventual boldness for Christ. The once hesitant disciple became a world-changing servant of God.

Just weeks later, our youth group took a personality test that matched each of us with a Biblical character. My result came back: I was like Peter! It confirmed my decision to learn to follow Christ boldly, just as Peter had.

The world is watching, and we all have a choice to pursue Jesus closely… or at a distance.

More verses to explore:

  • Joshua 24:15
  • Galatians 1:10
  • 1 Peter 3:14-16

Excerpted with permission from The Real Life Devotional Bible for Women by the Women of Proverbs 31 Ministries – Lysa Terkeurst, Glynnis Whitwer, Renee Swope, Karen Ehman and more. Copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

Our neighbors and co-workers are taking note of our life as believers. So how are you living out your life and faith? Are you pursuing Jesus closely or at a distance? Join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Karen Ehman

Karen Ehman is a New York Times bestselling author, a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker, and a writer for Encouragement for Today, an online devotional that reaches over four million women daily. She has written eleven books including KEEP IT SHUT: What to Say, How to Say It; When to Say Nothing at All, and Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World. Karen has been featured on numerous media outlets including FoxNews.com, Focus on the Family, Redbook.com, Crosswalk.com, and Home Life Magazine. Married to her college sweetheart, Todd, and the mother of three, she enjoys herb gardening, collecting vintage kitchenware, cheering for the Detroit Tigers, and feeding the many teens and young adults who gather around her kitchen island for a taste of Mama Karen's cooking.

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