Mark 14:66-72English Standard Version (ESV)
Peter Denies Jesus
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: Peter's Denial: A Warning About Self-Confidence
When we become Christians we are made into new creations, but we are not fully redeemed as long as we inhabit these sinful, fallen bodies. As new creatures, we desire to grow to become like our Saviour, but we always need to be mindful of the fact that we are not infallible and that we cannot trust in our own strength, we cannot be self-confident.
Peter learned this lesson the hard way, and we need to learn from his example so we don't repeat it!
This is colossal.... This is Peter, the great leader, the great preacher. How can this happen? This is a believer. And this is not just a momentary slipup, his denials if you think they happen in a brief time, you miss it. His denials are strung out over two hours and the first one was a shock and a surprise, but the next two were pre-meditated responses, not just knee-jerk. You might think that it took about as long to do this, in Peter’s case, as it did for me to read it, you’d be very wrong. The text is brief but the experience was strung out over those two hours. In fact, the same two hours that Jesus is on trial before Annas and Caiaphas, in the house of Annas and the house of Caiaphas being the same house, the great enclave of the high priestly family, this is a concurrent second-story line, this is a subplot. Jesus on trial for two hours from one to three, Peter denial from one to three, they run concurrently. Christ is seen in glorious triumphant, speaking honestly knowing it will cost Him His life. Peter speaks dishonestly trying to preserve his life.
Now while what Peter did is not necessary, don’t have to do this, it does happen. You say, “You mean a natural true believer could do this?” Oh yes, oh, absolutely. And you know that because although you’ve never stood before a tribunal that threatened to execute you, and you never stood before some court that threatened to put you in prison for the sake of Jesus Christ, you have stood before people and when you knew you should have confessed Christ, you kept your mouth shut, right? So you know what this is like. If not on a colossal level like this, on a smaller level but you know how hard it can be in some circumstances to openly profess Christ because there are negative consequences. You know that you have it in you to do this, even though you love Christ. You’re not forfeiting your faith in Him, you’re not abandoning your trust in Him, you’re not distaining Him where once you loved Him, you’re just unwilling to confess Him and admit that you are His, and we’ve all tasted of that.
So we understand Peter’s situation. When you read the history of the church, there are times when believers go before tribunals and profess Christ to their own punishment and their own execution and you know the litany of all of those stories that have been recorded throughout the history of the church. There are also times when people have become cowards and denied Christ verbally while not denying Him in their heart. They’ve done that to escape imprisonment and death....
How can that happen? That can happen because while we are new on the inside, we are incarcerated in our fallen flesh and it is still corrupt and sinful and self-protective. And that’s what happened to Peter.
Peter was too self-confident, he boasted too much, he listened too little, he prayed too little, acted too fast, and stayed too far away from Jesus.
His confession failed, his courage failed, but his faith did not fail. He felt great remorse, he recognized the weakness of his flesh, and he was restored.
Let us learn from Peter. Let us be reliant upon the Holy Spirit instead of ourselves, let us listen closely, pray diligently, and stay close to Jesus.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Mark 15:1-15
Post a Comment