MEANWHILE, PETER

Matthew – God’s Purposes
 
Matthew 26, NLT
Matthew 26 cockPeter Denies Jesus
69 Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.”
 
70 But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
 
71 Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
 
72 Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.
 
73 A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”
 
74 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.
 
75 Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
 
matthew-26-cock-crows.jpgOther disciples ran away to seek a hiding place after seeing Jesus arrested. Peter, who bravely walked on water with Jesus, whose instinct was to protect his Teacher when Jesus was arrested by wielding a sword wildly, who impetuously speaks before he thinks, comes as close to Jesus as he possibly can. Fear rises within him as others seem to recognize Peter as “one of those” with Jesus.
 
Peter, trying to hide his identity so he can stay close to what is happening to Jesus, speaks without thinking again. His human reaction is to quickly evade the questions…”I don’t know what you are talking about” which turns to lying and swearing by an oath…”I don’t know the man.”
 
Did Jesus hear Peter’s words out in the courtyard? Maybe not audibly but Jesus knew Peter. Jesus predicted Peter’s reaction. Luke’s account tells us Jesus DID hear and turned to look at Peter. Can we imagine that look of love? Peter now begins to know himself, sees himself for the loyal but impetuous man Jesus sees, and is remorseful, weeping bitterly.
 
GOING DEEPER STILL…
 
Peter has been criticized for following “afar off” (Matt. 26:58), but that was not his mistake. His mistake was that he followed at all. He was supposed to get out! Jesus had warned Peter that he would deny Him. Jesus had also quoted Zechariah 13:7, which states that the “sheep shall be scattered.” Finally, Jesus had expressly commanded the disciples not to follow: “Let these go their way” (John 18:8–9). If Peter had listened to the Word and obeyed it, he would never have failed the Lord in such a humiliating way.
 
Matthew 26 Peter watchedThe apostle John was also a part of this failure, for he had followed with Peter and gotten both of them entrance into the high priest’s house (John 18:15–16). Jesus had warned them to “watch and pray” lest they enter into temptation (Matt. 26:41). But they had gone to sleep instead. Consequently, they entered into temptation, and Peter fell.
 
Peter’s denial of Christ was the climax of a series of failures. When the Lord first warned Peter that he would be tested by Satan, Peter affirmed his faith and his ability to remain true to the Lord. In pride, Peter argued with the Word of God! He even dared to compare himself to the other disciples and affirmed that, though they might fall, he would remain true.
 
The fact that Peter was standing by the enemy’s fire, warming himself, indicates how defeated he was. The denial was even more humiliating because two of the interrogators were servant girls. The third challenge came from a man, one of the bystanders, but Peter failed again. This man was a relative of Malchus, the man Peter had wounded (John 18:26). So Peter’s impulsive deed caught up with him even after Jesus had repaired the damage.
 
Matthew 26 weptTHE LOOK OF JESUS
The crowing of the cock reminded Peter of the word of Jesus. Had Peter remembered and obeyed the word, he would never have denied his Lord. It was at that time that Jesus turned and looked at Peter (Luke 22:61), and that look of love broke the apostle’s heart. Peter went out and wept bitterly.
 
BUT THAT IS NOT THE END OF THE STORY!
After His resurrection, Jesus met privately with Peter and restored him to his discipleship (Mark 16:7; 1 Cor. 15:5). Jesus also restored him publicly (John 21:15–19). Peter learned some important lessons during that difficult experience. He learned to pay attention to the Word, to watch and pray, and to put no confidence in his own strength.
 
Matthew 26 Peter restored.jpgPeter, “upon whom I will build my church” learns from his mistakes of taking matters into his own hands. Peter learns from his failing and continues the work of helping people find and follow Jesus. Peter’s gifts of boldness and energy is now used by God to tell HIS story of salvation and restoration through a repentant relationship with Jesus, as Savior and Lord. We love Peter. He is human. He is now humbly bold as He speaks for the Lord.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
There is a lot to learn from Peter and the way you worked in Peter to restore him. We know you will restore us when we fail. We are assured of your love, mercy and grace. Oh, what a wonderful Savior you are. I’m truly overwhelmed just thinking about You and the way you work in us. Thank you for calling me redeemed!
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.
 
And I’m singing…Redeemed….
 
Seems like all I can see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight that’s already been won”
 
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed
I’m redeemed
 
All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember oh God, You’re not done with me yet
 
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home
 
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, You set me free
 
So I’ll shake off theses heavy chains
And wipe away every stain now I’m not who I used to be
Oh God I’m not who I used to be
Jesus I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed
 
Songwriters: Benji Cowart / Michael Weaver / Michael David Weaver

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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