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The Look

So they seized him, and led him to the High Priest's residence, and Peter followed at a distance. The soldiers lit a fire in the courtyard and sat around it for warmth, and Peter joined them there.

A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she spoke: "This man was with Jesus!"

Peter denied it, "Woman," he said, "I don't even know the man!"

After a while someone else looked at him and said, "You must be one of them!"

"No sir, I am not!" Peter replied.

About an hour later someone else flatly stated, "I know this fellow is one of Jesus' disciples, for both are from Galilee."

But Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you are talking about." and as he said the words, a rooster crowed.

At that moment Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered what he had said - "Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will dent me three times. And Peter walked out of the courtyard, crying bitterly.

Luke 22: 54-62 (TLB)

Tom Smith, from Utah, was bullied in middle school. He was nerdy, he didn't wear cool clothes, and he was hopeless at sports. Tom took solace in his friendship with Tarik, an exchange student from India. Like Tom, he just didn't seem to fit in. But they had a connection through their common pain.

One day as Tom walked to school, three football players actually talked to him. He was ecstatic! As they approached the school, Tom saw Tarik by the doorway. Instantly the football players began to tease him. Tom's desire to be popular was overwhelming, and he is ashamed to admit he joined them in teasing his friend. Tom will never forget the look Tarik gave him at that moment. He didn't say a word, but Tom could see the sense of betrayal and sadness in his eyes.

Peter must have felt deep shame when Jesus looked at him after Peter denied knowing Jesus. But Jesus didn't condemn Peter. Rather, Tom believes Jesus looked deep into Peter's soul and saw the bold man of God Peter would become. When we feel shame for our mistakes, forgiveness is a prayer away. Jesus always looks upon us with unconditional love.

Prayer: Loving Savior, help us to remember that your boundless love and sacrifice cover all our sins. May we look at others the way you do, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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