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Mark 14:54, 66-72 Peter’s Denial of Jesus

by Dr. D ~ February 5th, 2007

     Vs. 54  All of the disciples of Jesus scattered at his arrest except Peter.  Verse 54 records that Peter followed the procession at a distance and even ventured into the courtyard of the high priest.  From that position, he was somewhat privy to the discussion of the Sanhedrin.  Usually the council held their meetings near the Temple, but this hasty session was irregular in both time and place.  Peter tried to blend in with the guards and servants as he warmed himself by the fire.  One wonders what his plans were if any. Peter obviously hoped to make good on his boast that “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”       

     Vs. 66-68  While he was in the courtyard a servant girl recognized him declaring: “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”  Notice how Peter responds.  He was obviously not prepared to answer.  What a weak retort:  “I neither know or understand what you mean.”  Then he moves toward the gateway as the rooster crows the first time.  One wonders what happened to Peter’s usual boldness.  Was he intimidated by all of the religious leaders at the so-called trial?  Did he fear for his own life?  Was he beginning to question whether Jesus was really the one?  Maybe it was a combination of all of the above? 

     Vs. 69-70  The servant girl saw Peter again by the gate and this time addressed those standing near by: “This man is one of them.”  Again Peter denied it.  The scripture indicates that some time passed and then those standing near by began to insist that Peter was surely one of those connected to Jesus:  “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”  This time Peter was really upset.  He cursed and answered his accusers:  “I do not know this man of whom you speak.”   Immediately the rooster crowed a second time and Peter remembered what Jesus had said to him:  “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”  Peter had failed famously.  Luke 22:61 tells us that Jesus turned and looked directly at him that very moment.  As Peter thought about it he broke down and wept.  He had failed the Lord and there was no way he could ever take it back.  *Note:  John Mark probably got this account from Peter himself.  It should give us all hope.


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