Summary: I have noticed it down through the years that anytime one’s fellowship with the Lord and his people, his church begins to wane, they sooner or later move into the company of the world.
The denials of Jesus.
Mark 14: 66 -- 72. 07/30/03
After the sword incident, Peters drifting away is best summed up by Matthew 26:58. Matthew said, “but Peter followed him, Jesus, afar off.” When Jesus was arrested in the garden, he was taken to the court. Peter before time had been following Jesus closely but this time he did not. Matthew said he did follow but at a far distance. That statement represents the increasing distance in spirit coming between Peter and Jesus. Also, Peters drifting from Jesus eventually led to his drifting from the Company of Christians to the company with the world.
I have noticed it down through the years that anytime one’s fellowship with the Lord and his people, his church begins to wane, they sooner or later move into the company of the world. As we will see in this episode of Peter.
So, this then leads us up to a study tonight, the denials of Jesus by Peter.
We have been studying the great spiritual collapse of Peter. His spiritual collapse climaxed in his terrible three denials of Jesus.
He did not do this terrible deed all at once. He had been saying things and doing things to prepare him to yield to this great temptation. His spiritual delinquency is now getting ready to blossom into a full-grown act that would earlier have been a shock to even think that he would do.
Let’s examine these denials of Peter as we do, we see first of all THE WARNING ABOUT THE DENIALS.
I think it is only in Mark that we find that the Cock crowed twice. This is the same number of times Jesus had predicted the Cock would crow.
But something comes to mind here as we look at our texts. At Peters first denial we find that the Cock did crow. Then at his last denial the Cock crowed the second time. But it is interesting that after the warning for Peter after the first denial, there were two other denials that followed.
Lesson here! When the heart of a person is bent to sinning, the heart becomes insensitive to the reminders that are going on around them. The Cock crowing was Peters reminder. Ours come through a sermon, a Scripture texts, reading, a word from a friend or from a host of other things to take heed lest we fall. We cannot blame God for our failures. He is gracious to give us the warnings and reminders we better heed.
We see not only the warnings about the denials but also THE WICKEDNESS OF THE DENIALS.
The evil in the denials are many but we want to note 3.
The first was dishonoring words. Remember before hand Peters said you are the Christ the son of the living God. Oftentimes Peter referred to Jesus as master. He had called him Lord. But in his denials of Jesus he simply refers to Jesus as the man or this man of whom you speak. Just a man.
The second was deserting words. The very time when Jesus needed a friend, Peter was off denying he ever knew him. There were already enough false acquisitions flying around without Peter adding to the situation.
This third was defiling words. “Then begin he to curse and to swear saying, I know not the man.” We need to understand the nature of this defiled speech. Curse and swear does not mean that Peter used a string of vulgarities to emphasize his point. The word means to call down a curse upon himself if that what he says is not true. Nevertheless it was foul talk.
People are always in trouble when they result to foul talk to enforce what they are saying. Foul talk is never the mark of a he man but the mark of a weak man, one who is out of sorts with God.
We see not only the warning about the denials, and the wickedness of the denials but also THE WEEPING AFTER THE DENIALS.
What brought Peter under conviction and to tears? Luke tells us that it was not only the Cock crowing that woke Peter up. It was also the Lord looking at Peter. Luke says that after the Cock crowed, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Peter then went out and wept bitterly.
Peter was at a distance from Jesus during the trials, but he was still to where he could be seen by Jesus. While Peters denials are terrible, he became extremely convicted about his sin when confronted about them. His conviction brought him to tears. Was a sorry? We will find from this time on Peter was a different man.
That’s what conviction is about. It ought to lead us to repentance and a different person because of the look from Jesus.