All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.”
In front of everybody there, he denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
As he moved over toward the gate, someone else said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.”
Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: “I swear, I never laid eyes on the man.”
Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. “You’ve got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away.”
Then he got really nervous and swore. “I don’t know the man!”
Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried. (Matthew 26:69–75)
Jesus warned Peter ahead of time what was going to happen. But the warning didn’t stop Peter or alter his behavior in any way.
With Jesus’ arrest, with the disciples scattered, Peter suffered the loss of everything he had believed in, everything that he had hoped would happen. During the whole night as he skirted about, his mind would likely have been filled with the disappointment over how things had turned out and over his own failure to act. Perhaps he wondered if there might not be something he could do to change the circumstances, to fix the problem. But with each choice he made, he merely solidified the outcome and fulfilled the very words that Jesus had told him, words that he didn’t want to believe, that he couldn’t believe were true—until the moment the rooster crowed and all his hopes came to nothing.
Over the course of our lives, we have doubtless received good advice that we ignored. And likewise, we have given good advice that we saw ignored. We have heard people tell us, “told you so” and probably have said it ourselves, or perhaps on some occasions, resisted that temptation. . Peter learned and came out fine on the other side of his mistakes. His misery, his suffering, did not have to be what it was. The night could have gone a different way for him had he understood what Jesus had been trying to tell him. God won’t abandon us just because we don’t always understand or follow his good advice, though he might tell us, “told you so.”