Matthew 26:69-75 Denial

69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.

70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”

73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”

74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Denial

Denial and betrayal are not the same thing.  Judas and Peter were different with you, Jesus.  Judas betrayed you to harm.  Peter denied you in a time of need.  One actively hurt you, the other passively hurt you.  In both cases there was a heartrending emotion that followed.  Judas’ led to death, Peter’s led to shame.  I have not actively worked against you, as far as I know, but I have passively denied you.  I have kept my mouth shut in some situations where people did not speak well of you.  In those cases, I sometimes felt overwhelmed and unequipped.  In retrospect I thought I was too ignorant to speak up with naturalists and atheists in England.  In England there seems to be an air of intellectual superiority adopted by anyone who denies the existence of God.  Now, of course I believe that your existence and place in the world is as rational as any other explanation, but at that time I had a fear that they were right.  I have denied your existence at times by living as though you did not exist or as though I did not know you.  I have become infatuated with a woman, an activity, or a place and immersed myself in it without thought of you.

There is nothing good outside of a life with you.  There is no life worth living that denies you.  I believe that in home, school, work, and play we need to think of you in all your glory.  It is human for us to forget, but like Peter, help us to see that it is a big deal.

Questions

  1. What causes Peter to deny Jesus?
  2. How does the way he feels differ from Judas?
  3. If the story ended here, what would be the future for Peter?
  4. How do people deny Jesus today?
  5. How can people deny Jesus in less and less areas of life?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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