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Summary: We have read the four accounts of Peter’s predicted denial of Jesus. Each gives us a little bit different information than the other three. In Matthew Peter says, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” Mark adds, “But he spake th

KEY PLAYERS IN THE CRUCIFIXION:

PETER

MISPLACED CONFIDENCE

TEXT: Matthew 26:31-35 (quickview) ; Mark 14:27-31 (quickview) ; Luke 22:31-34 (quickview)  John 13:33-38 (quickview) 

INTRODUCTION: We have read the four accounts of Peter’s predicted denial of Jesus. Each gives us a little bit different information than the other three.

In Matthew Peter says, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” Mark adds, “But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise.”

Then in Luke we read that Jesus tells Peter that “Satan hath desired to have you, that he mat sift you as wheat.” Then in John’ gospel we read that Peter asks “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.”

If we put these accounts together it would most likely read in this sequence.

Jesus tells His disciples that He is going to go where they cannot come. (He is going to the cross.) Peter asks, “Lord where are you going? “ Jesus says you can’t follow me now but you will later. (Peter was crucified upside down.)

Peter asks, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will die for you.” And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”

Mat 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Mat 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

Mat 26:33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

Mat 26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mark 14:31 (quickview)  But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

Peter had great confidence in himself. But as we know he failed and denied the Lord 3 times. Christians seem to identify more closely with Peter than with any other person in the whole New Testament.

We tend to identify with him in his weakness rather than his strengths. We identify with him especially in the trial scene when he denies the Lord. We know that could have been us. Maybe we know that it has been us.

The issue was whether he would identify with Jesus when he wasn’t in the safety of the other disciples. When he was in alien, hostile company. To deny meant to refuse to be identified with Jesus.

Look at Mark 14:66-71 (quickview) . Change the time and the place, and it could have been us. I think if we are honest with ourselves we can identify with Peter because we have all denied Jesus at one time or another. Maybe we haven’t said, “I don’t know this Jesus.” But we have said it in our silence when we should have stood up for Him. And at times in the way we live.

Lets look at Peter and his denial and see where he went wrong so that we can learn from him and not make the same mistakes.


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