"You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus."
"This man is one of them."
"Surely you are one of them."
In Chapter 14 of Mark's Gospel, we hear the above accusations directed at Peter during his infamous denial of Christ.
It might be hard to remember the response we had the first time we read this part of the Gospel. Maybe we saw it coming, maybe we sympathized with Peter, maybe we hoped we wouldn’t ever be tested like him.
But, we must acknowledge a very basic truth to this story. The accusation of Peter isn't the problem — it's Peter’s denial of Christ.
“If I were ever prosecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me.” —John Wooden
This is the position Peter was in, and the same one that we should hope to be in. For Peter, he was fearing for his life and Christ's life. But, after that moment, those accusations became a badge of honor, his mark of authority in Christ.
In the same way, we should hope to be 'accused' of being one of Christ's disciples, of being with Him. How joyful would we be at the end of this life to have this said of us: "Surely, you are one of them."
You too are with the Nazarene, Jesus.