Summary: A look at the denial of the Apostle Peter.
The bigger they are the harder they fall – mark 14:26-72
One of the things that I enjoy doing is hiking or just going on walks in the woods. It’s quiet, peaceful, there is fresh air and it’s good to get a little exercise. One thing I notice in the woods is that there are a lot of fallen trees, and I have noticed again and again is that many of these tree’s tend to be very large. There just doesn’t seem to be very many small trees that have fallen over, rather the large ones. Why is that?
Well one reason is that in wet area’s the roots don’t go down very deep, they remain shallow so when a tree becomes very large and the wind blows hard the shallow roots cannot hold and the tree falls over ripping the roots right out of the ground. Another reason why many of the larger tree’s fall is because although they look strong and healthy on the outside, they have begun to rot on the inside and we’ve all heard the expression – “The bigger they are the harder they fall!”
That is a true statement.
It’s not only true with tree’s it is true with men as well, in particular godly men and their spirituality. Turn to 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 - Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
When you think your strong, when you become over confident, when you become boastful you better watch out! People often become overconfident and what goes along with that? Putting your faith in yourself as opposed to putting it in God. People become Arrogant and proud, often times they even let down their guard or they become complacent. Those things sometimes happen to those who are strong in the faith, because they think they can handle it. Beware – Proverbs 16:18 - Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Think of the godly men in Scripture who fell Spiritually – Noah was the most righteous man on earth, he had enough faith the build the ark and yet he spent the latter years of his life given over to wine. Aaron the brother of Moses compromised and gave into the will of the people and built the golden calf. David, the man after Gods own heart was led astray by selfishness and lust.
There are many other examples but all these temptations are common to man, these are common temptations, they shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone but isn’t it good that we have the assurance that God never gives us more than we can handle? We can never blame others for our own sin, the Bible teachers PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY! If you sin its because you chose to sin, God doesn’t temp us nor does he give us more than we can bear. Paul writes - but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
What he is saying is that we can overcome temptation, but we need to take heed! We need to listen and be on guard because although our spirit may be willing, our flesh is weak. Turn to Mark chapter 14:26 as we study the fall of the Apostle Peter.
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”
30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
31 But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”
And they all said likewise.
One of those things that amazes me about Peter is all the times when he would rebuke Jesus or just simply disagree with what he said. Jesus told Peter he was going to be crucified in Matthew 16 and Peter responded by saying “this shall never happen to you!” Jesus said to Peter “let me wash your feet” and Peter said “no way” “You won’t wash my feet” and then here Jesus tell Peter (and the others) that they will betray Him and Peter is the first to stand up and say! Not me! I will never betray you! The others, they might stumble and fall but not me! I would never do this, even if I have to die, I will not deny you!