Peter Denies Jesus

Peter denies Jesus 3 times

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Peter Denies Jesus 3 Times
JOHN 18 BIBLE STUDY
John 18:17-24 Servant Girl

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

John 18:25-27 (B) False Witness
John 18:25-27 (C) Jesus' Trial
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.

These are the second and third of the three times that Peter denies Jesus. (For the details of the first time Peter denies Jesus, see Servant Girl). Luke 22 adds more color to the second and third times Peter denies Jesus:

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 did Jesus look at Peter?
Jesus knew how broken up Peter was about to become over denying Him three times as He had prophesied (see John 13:38 in One of you will betray Me) and He also knew Peter's real motivation for denying Him (see below), so Jesus' look is likely to have been one of pity than anger.

Was Peter a coward?
Peter denying his master not once but three times certainly appears cowardly, but it raises the question below.

What was Peter doing in the high priest's house in the first place?
If anyone should have feared being arrested, it was Peter. He's the one guilty of attempted murder, and since Malchus, whose ear he had chopped off, was the servant of the high priest, the last place Peter should have gone to was the high priest's house.

Was Peter hoping to not be recognized?
If so, that hope was dashed when the servant girl asked Peter, "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 and leave the high priest's house right away, first at a walk, then at full sprint. Instead, he continued to lie and stayed for another "hour" (Luke 22:59) amidst "officers" (John 18:18) who could have arrested him. The third time he was recognized, Peter even "began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" (Matthew 26:74), but still stayed and only left when he realized that Jesus' prophecy about his denials had come true.

So why did Peter stay and deny Jesus three 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 Peter isn't guilty of is cowardice. A coward wouldn't have attacked (see Malchus) a mob that included hundreds of Roman soldiers (see Judas Iscariot) or gone anywhere near the house of the high priest and Malchus.

Did Jesus need Peter's protection?
God can take care of Himself just fine.

Does Jesus need our protection today?
 

What should Christians do when people attack and blaspheme Jesus?
Something to the effect of, "Excuse me, I heard you talking about Jesus. I'm a Christian and Jesus is my Lord. Would you like to know the truth about Him?” will be more constructive than engaging in violence or lying to 'look out' for Jesus.

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