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Mark 14:66-72 Peter Denies Jesus

Posted by adventbiblestudy on March 21, 2013


Mark 14:66-72 NLTse Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by (67) and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.” (68) But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. (69) When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” (70) But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.” (71) Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying–I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” (72) And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus‘ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.

For a time shadows were Peter’s best Allie. He used darkness and shadows to hid while he followed the guards escorting Jesus to Caiaphas’ house. Once inside the courtyard, shadows once again helped conceal his identity. Slinking along the walls, Peter looked over every face in the crowd, making sure no one would recognize him. While surveying the crowd, Peter noticed a familiar face. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus. (John 18:15 NLTse).

Seeing the other disciple walk into Caiaphas’ house, Peter began feeling a bit more confident. Peter decided it was safe to comfort himself by the fire. Stepping out from the shadows of the wall, Peter joined a small group warming themselves near one of the fires. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.” Peter wished he had stayed in the shadows against the cold wall. Peter knew the situation required an immediate response. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed.

Thinking it would appear he belonged in the courtyard, Peter figured he would be less conspicuous near the doorway. But the servant girl followed him, telling others, “This man is definitely one of them!” Chills from the dark night disappeared as Peter felt threatened. His face flushed as he opened his cloak, letting the night air in around his body. To remove the threat, Peter once again denied knowing Jesus as he headed for the relative safety of the shadows. Trying to disappear was a dead give away to the others. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.” Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying–I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” (Luke 22:61 NLTse).

The look in Jesus’ eyes finally broke Peter down as he looked at the Lord’s battered and beaten face. Peter wept as he looked at Jesus bound in chains, guards continually pulling, pushing, kicking, and striking Him at will. How could they treat any human being in such a manner, no less the Teacher?

In a second Peter’s mind began to flash back. This was the effect Jesus prayed for as He tried to keep His eyes on Peter as they led Him away. Jesus prayed Peter would look back at the details leading to his denial of the Teacher.

Peter’s first thought was Jesus’ warning. “I tell you the truth, Peter–this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” (Mark 14:30 NLTse). Then Peter could see how he was so focused on his competition with, James and John, he missed the symbols Jesus explained at dinner. Peter didn’t give any extra thought to the spiritual meaning of bread and wine Jesus explained to them during the Passover meal. Peter could see how he relied on himself, not on the Spirit. Peter remembered the first time Jesus tried telling them about His arrest.“The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.” (Mark 8:31 NLTse). Peter took Jesus aside, telling Jesus he would never allow such things to happen to Him. Now Peter could hardly believe these things were happening before his eyes. But what did they mean, why didn’t Peter take the time to listen to Jesus?

As He was dragged outside the high priest’s house and beaten, Jesus took His mind off the pain by praying Peter would look back to see how he put his trust in popular views of prophecy and not in what He was trying to teach them. Peter’s mind was totally focused on what he thought he could achieve by teaching the accepted, but misguided concepts. Peter wanted to exceed the glory of the Pharisees and all the attention they brought on themselves. Peter’s personal quest for power blinded him from seeing the simple concepts Jesus taught over the years. Jesus prayed Peter saw the lesson on popularity when people he did not know recognized him in the high priest’s courtyard. Peter received the attention he asked for while discovering there are two sides to everything. There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. (Proverbs 14:12 NLTse).

Peter began thinking of the times he challenged John and his brother James for the leadership role. Was this the price he had to pay? Peter also remembered times he offered an instant answer instead of praying and thinking about the lesson at hand. As Peter saw Jesus led off into the night, he wished he had the courage he exhibited when he was alone with Jesus and the other disciples. The memory of leaping forward to kill a guard crossed his mind. For some reason he missed his mark, but still sliced off an ear. All of this began to seem like misguided self will, a selfish way of showing Jesus how much he cared. Now Peter knew why Jesus said, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” While He touched the man’s ear and healed him. (John 18:11, Luke 22:51 NLTse)

Peter was beginning to see how his selfish attitude denied Jesus long before this day. Jesus healed the ear of the man he tried to slay. Peter thought there must be a message in that, but what was it? Peter began to go over every detail he could remember about Jesus’ ministry and what He taught during their time together. The scriptures – that is what Jesus always pointed them to. Not only the disciples, but the priests, Pharisees, and religious leaders. The answers must be in scripture. Peter’s heart was near breaking. Not only did he deny his best friend and Teacher in front of His face, he began wondering how he would ever find and understand the answers without Jesus.

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