Prediction & Fruition of Peter’s Denial
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. Matthew 26:31-35, ESV
Jesus told His disciples that they would betray Him and scatter after He had gone away from them. Yet, in typical Peter fashion he is adamant that he will never do such a thing even if the others do. However, Jesus tells him that his denial of Him will come on that same night. Even though Jesus had given a specific deadline Peter is still determined he won’t stray. After all, this Man is his best friend and the One he has sacrificed much for.
Later on in the night we see Peter completely unaware of what is unfolding before him.
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:54-62, ESV
His worst nightmare has come true and he didn’t even realize it was happening. This had to be incredibly difficult because 1) he had just betrayed his best friend 2) he didn’t even realize he was doing it until it was over.
These events show us that even when Jesus tells us something about ourselves and our lives we don’t always believe it. One of Jesus’ closest friends didn’t even believe what He said to be true. Sometimes we have to walk through it in order to truly see everything unfold – hindsight is 20/20. We can deny it, stop believing it will happen, and try to change it but if He has said it, it will come to pass.
This story is also a great reminder to be aware of what we are saying and doing. Thinking before speaking is so important, especially when we are making promises and declarations.
Come back next week as we conclude our journey with Peter and find him in the aftermath of his denial.