Summary: A sermon on how we deny Christ when we don’t lean on him
Peter was “the Rock”. He was sure that he would never forsake Jesus. That when ever the going got tough he would be there. In fact he even told Jesus that he was ready to go with Him into prison and into death. How often do we do the same thing? We stand and say that we are willing to follow Jesus wherever He may lead us. But whenever the going gets to rough or dangerous or even for some inconvenient we quickly turn aside and hide our allegiance to Him. We begin to back pedal. When this happens we are doing the same thing that Peter did when he denied the Lord three times before the cock crowed.
There was a pastor of a very well-known Bible church, one that taught the Word of God. Today he is a denier of the deity of Jesus Christ. He is a professor at USC, one who does everything he can to turn young people away from Christianity. He also falls into the category of an apostate, somebody who knows the truth, has all the information about the truth, and willfully turns his back on the truth for his own pursuit.
Lu 22:54 And they seized him, and led him [away], and brought him into the high priest`s house. But Peter followed afar off.
Lu 22:55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the court, and had sat down together, Peter sat in the midst of them.
Lu 22:56 And a certain maid seeing him as he sat in the light [of the fire], and looking stedfastly upon him, said, This man also was with him.
Lu 22:57 But he denied, saying, Woman, I know him not.
Lu 22:58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou also art [one] of them. But Peter said, Man, I am not.
Lu 22:59 And after the space of about one hour another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this man also was with him; for he is a Galilaean.
Lu 22:60 But Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
Lu 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how that he said unto him, Before the cock crow this day thou shalt deny me thrice.
Lu 22:62 And he went out, and wept bitterly.
I. Peter Denials of Christ
Peter’s first denial of Jesus came about outside of the Head Priest’s house. Peter had followed Christ as He was lead to the Head Priest’s house and he was standing where he could see his Lord. The very same Lord that he had proclaimed so much loyalty too. The very same Lord that he had proclaimed that he was willing to go to prison with even unto death with. Now his first opportunity to stand up for his Lord was here when the maid said that Peter was one of the followers of Jesus. Did Jesus boldly proclaim Christ? No, what he did was to react in his humanity. His survival mode kicked in and he denied even knowing Christ. In fact he even seemed angry in this denial. I don’t know this man don’t say that about me. Many of us do the same thing on Monday when we walk into the office we check Christ at the door and we are the same as everyone else in the building. We are saying the same thing that Peter did when he denied knowing Christ at the fire. We act out of self preservation because our Christianity might make it hard for us to function in a secular world. Here was Peter who could see our Lord with his own eyes, who had eaten with Him, and sat at His feet for instruction and yet he still failed. Why? Two more times Peter is given an opportunity to proclaim the Lord and two more times he denies Christ. What was the cause of this, surely he who personally knew Jesus and had seen Him with his own eyes would have the strength to stand for Christ. But twice more he denies him. He does this because he is standing in his own strength and was not standing in the strength of Christ.
II. Peter reliance on himself and not on Christ
Even though Peter had the advantage of actually having seen Jesus and been taught by Jesus Peter still did not understand what the kingdom was truly about. He had not realized that at this time the kingdom would be a spiritual kingdom. He was waiting for Christ to establish His earthly kingdom. Because of this he was depending on his own strength and not that of Jesus to sustain him when he was faced with trials and tribulations. So when the heat became to great he folded and went with the world. Instead of depending on Christ and saying yes I am a follower of The Lord Peter instead denied even knowing Him.