Peter Denies Christ

Matthew 26:69–75 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 14:66–72; Luke 22:55–62; John 18:15–18, 25–27 )

69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

Matthew 26:69-75

This passage is a straightforward account of Peter’s reactions to the arrest of Jesus. Peter, obviously, was the one who proclaimed His undying devotion to Christ just a few hours ago in the upper room. He pledged to die for Christ if necessary. Yet here we see Him denying Christ three times, even to the point of cursing in the last denial. The gospel writers all include this story, but they all recall certain elements of it. For instance, John recalls Peter warming his hands by the fire of the Romans. Luke tells that Jesus turns and looks at Peter as the cock crows, signalling the fulfillment of His prophetic word in v. 34. This is a tense and fearful moment in the story of the Passion. Peter, feeling his emotions reach a fever pitch, denies the very Savior that transformed his life, fearful that claiming a relationship with Him at this moment could lead to his own death and demise. Peter’s humanity got in the way of His spirituality and he cracked under pressure.

Jesus warns us of temptation and seeks to lead us in the paths of righteousness. Jesus knows out path and walks down it with us. He knows when we are warming our hands by the fire of the enemy, and He sees our struggle when we realize that we have sinned, even after He warned us about the temptation to come. He sees us when the rooster crows, looking across the morass of our failure to let us know He is there. Wherever you are today, even in your own failure, know that Jesus is there. He may feel somwhat betrayed, but He will loves you.

Artwork from https://www.trinitybelleplaine.org/how-do-you-recover-from-denying-jesus/

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