Peter Denies Jesus

Peter denies Jesus 3 times

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John 18 Commentary
John 18:2-9 Jesus of Nazareth
John 18:10-12 Judas' Kiss
John 18:13-24 Annas and Caiaphas

John 18:25-27 (A) Peter Denies Jesus

John 18:25-27 (B): Jesus' Trial
John 18:28-32 Praetorium
John 18:33-38 My Kingdom Is Not of This World
John 18:39-40 Barabbas
JOHN 18:25-27  25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.

Let's read the corresponding account of how Peter denies Jesus in Luke 22.

Luke 22:58-62  58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

How do you think Jesus looked at Peter?
Jesus is likely to have looked at Peter with love and pity, since He knew how broken Peter would be over denying Him 3 times.

How much of a coward was Peter?
Peter denied his master not once but 3 times certainly appears cowardly, but the question that arises is, 'What was Peter doing in the high priest's house in first place?' If anyone should have feared being arrested, it was Peter. He's the one guilty of attempted murder, and since the man whose ear he had chopped off was the servant of the high priest, the last place Peter should have gone to was the house of the high priest.

Was Peter hoping to not be recognized?
If so, that hope was dashed when the girl asked Peter at the door, "You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?" (John 18:17) It isn't surprising that Peter lied to her - "I am not!" (John 18:17) - but what he then should have done is to make up some excuse, turn around and leave the place right away, first at a walk, then at full sprint. Instead, he went inside and stayed.

Was Peter thinking that a servant girl who saw him in the dark couldn't cause him much trouble?
If so, why did he lie and stay for another "hour" (Luke 22:59) when "they" (John 18:25), including "officers" (John 18:18) recognized his face, lit around "a fire" (John 18:18)? The third time he was recognized, Peter even "began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" (Matthew 26:74) But he still intended to stay, and only left when he realized Jesus' prophecy about his denials had come true.

So why did Peter stay and deny Jesus 3 times?
In his own way, Peter was trying to be protective of - to 'look out' for - Jesus. And if staying near his master required him to lie, lie he would. True to his usual form, Peter's actions weren't thought through and he deserved to weep "bitterly" (Luke 22:62) for denying Jesus as he did. But the one thing he isn't guilty of is cowardice. A coward wouldn't have swung his sword in front of 600 Roman soldiers or gone anywhere near the high priest's house.

Did Jesus need Peter's protection?
God can take care of Himself just fine. He didn't need Peter's protection back then, and He doesn't need ours now. What He does want from His followers is to not betray our relationship with Him. The next time non-believers are mocking Jesus without knowing that a Christian is in their midst, a simple "I just want you to know that I believe in Jesus and He is my Lord” from the latter would count more than swinging swords or lying to 'look out' for Jesus.

What’s happening to Jesus while Peter is denying Him?
Matthew 26:59-68  59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” 62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” 67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”

Had Jesus really said, "I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days"?
No, He had said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:19)

So what three errors are in their accusation?
Jesus had said, "Destroy" (John 2:19), meaning 'when you destroy', not “I am able to destroy" (Matthew 26:61). He also had said, "this temple" (John 2:19), meaning His own body, not the “temple of God” (Matthew 26:61). And He had said that He will "raise it up" (John 2:19), meaning His resurrection, not "build it" (Matthew 26:61).

Since they had already decided to kill Jesus and now have Him, why are they bothering with testimonies?
"The chief priests, the elders, and all the council" (Matthew 26:59) - i.e., the Sanhedrin - is holding a court trial to officially sentence Jesus.

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