Peter and the Myth

Jesus said, "…and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32. One of the blessings of truth is that it has the capacity to set us free from the things that are not true.

Now, the things that are not true come in all sorts of forms and ideas. One category of the things that are not true is myths. By definition, a myth is a widely held but false belief or idea. Relative to one’s own life, a myth is a personally held but false belief or idea about oneself.

For example, Peter believed with all his heart that he would never abandon Jesus no matter what. In Matthew 26:31-35, when Jesus predicted that everyone would fall away when He was struck down, Peter boldly proclaimed, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.”

Jesus then said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter responded by reiterating, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.”

Peter’s understanding of the depth of his loyalty was a myth. It was something he spoke about that wasn’t really true. To Peter’s credit, I think it revealed a strong desire on his part, but, nonetheless, it really wasn’t true. Less we be critical of Peter, we really don’t know what we would do in his situation without really experiencing it.

So on that faithful night of revelation, as recorded in John 18:15-27, Peter indeed denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. The truth was made known and myth was busted.

It would do us well if we asked the Lord to reveal the myths that exist in our lives. I know of one pastor whose wife told a Christian counselor during a counseling session that her husband put the ministry first over the family. The pastor vehemently denied it saying that he even calendared family activities. His wife then told the counselor to look at his (paper) calendar. Every church activity was written in ink while every family activity was written in pencil (and subject to erasure). This pastor/husband/father was living a myth.

Is there a myth in your life? What is it? Is there something you talk about or believe that really isn’t true in your life?

Myths are difficult to detect because we believe them to be true. One good place to start a journey of dispelling myths is by studying the Word of God, which is our final authority when it comes to truth.

Hebrew 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” As we study the Word of God, may it judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts and reveal the myths that live there.

Something to think about…