Even people who don’t believe in Jesus are familiar with the story (or at least the concept) of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. Peter’s denial of Jesus is also a familiar story to many of us. Both stories are part of today’s Bible reading in Mark 14.
During the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus, we see three encounters with a servant girl of the High Priest. The first time they meet, she suggests that Peter had been with the man from Nazareth. (Mark 14:67) Of course, Peter denies it and he immediately hears a rooster crow.
Sometime later, she sees him and tells some bystanders that Peter was “one of them”. (Mark 14:68) Again, he tells her that she is mistaken.
A third time, she points out that Peter is a Galilean and he swears that he doesn’t know Jesus [think about that: he swears to God that he doesn’t know God!].
Immediately, Peter hears the second crow of a rooster. He remembers that Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed twice.
Now, I’m sure he wasn’t wearing his Nazareth High School letter jacket, so how did the servant girl know that Peter was a Galilean?
If you grew up in the South, you can tell when a Northerner says, “Hello.” Maybe it’s the absence of the typical “Hey” greeting. Or maybe it’s the accent. I’m sure Northerners can easily recognize when a Southerner greets them, too. Perhaps they recognize the “Hey” greeting or the multiple-syllable inflection of it. 😉
People from the region of Galilee/Nazareth spoke Aramaic as their native language. Aramaic is a dialect of Hebrew. Perhaps the servant girl recognized his language or his accent as Peter talked with people around the campfire.
My point is, without saying much, Peter clearly told the girl that he did, in fact, come from the region of Galilee and probably did know Jesus.
Do people recognize that your language and accent is a little different? I’m not talking about the “Christianese” that we tend to pick up as we spend time with church people. But believers just tend to talk about things a little differently than nonbelievers.
If you’ve been a believer for very long, and if you’ve grown in your faith very much, your language will tend to represent the One you’ve been spending time with.
Your lips will betray who you are, whether you realize it or not. And if you’re a growing believer, people will know you’re one of His people. And if they don’t recognize that you’re different… well are you? Your lips will betray you regardless.