8th October 2020
‘Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. Then he went out of the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth." He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!" After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, "Surely you are one of them; for your accent gives you away.”’
Matthew 26:69-73 (NIV)
When you meet someone for the first time, one of the things you notice about them is their accent. The way they speak reveals a lot about who they are. Accents give you a glimpse into a person’s life - their history, beliefs, traditions and where they’re from. An accent can reveal a person’s true nature and what’s inside them.
In this story we see that there was something about the way Peter spoke that stood out. People could tell he’d been with Jesus because of his accent. Perhaps it was the way he pronounced his words, or perhaps it was something about the way he put his sentences together, but Jesus had created an accent in Peter’s life, and just like Peter we need to have a Jesus accent upon our lives too.
Whenever Jesus spoke, His words were full of life, power, healing, blessing, forgiveness and purpose. Jesus intentionally used his words to change the world around him. However, the thing about accents and language is that they take time to develop, and they develop through listening and practice. Accents come as a result of being immersed in a particular country, world or culture.
For us as believers we need to ensure that our accent is developed through a continual relationship and connection with Jesus. Take the time to grow a Jesus accent in your life by listening closely. Listen intentionally to God’s word, whether that’s through prayer, reading your Bible or worship, and remember to surround yourself with people who speak with a Jesus accent.
The next step in developing an accent is simple; put what you hear into practice, be intentional with your words, and use them purposefully. Let the accent of Jesus be the thing you are known for.