Of the twelve men chosen to be the apostles, the two we know the most about are Judas and Peter. The reason we know more about these two is that they tell us about themselves. Jesus said, "...out of the abundance of he heart the mouth speaketh." When an individual speaks about a particular subject he reveals the way he believes. It doesn't take very long to find out what a person thinks if you will just listen to what he says. This morning we want to focus on Peter. He spoke more, asked more questions, and uttered more exclamations than all the others. He also was instructed, exhorted, reprimanded, warned, and blessed by Christ more than any of the others. Not only what Peter said, but what he did, and the way in which he did it, makes him a man who reveals himself and is easily identified. He is a man of impulse and of quick action following those impulses. Sometimes he appears to be a man who contradicts himself. His words and actions at one moment may be totally inconsistent with other moments.
Read: Mark 14:27-28.
I. The Prediction.
A. Jesus Makes a Prediction: v27-28
1. 'All ye shall be offended because of me this night'
2. 'offended' means to stumble or fall.
3. Jesus said, "Tonight, you will all fall away!"
4. He quotes from Zechariah to confirm that they will indeed be scattered, after the shepherd is smitten.
B. Peter refutes the prediction.- v29
1. He thought that the prediction could be true of the others, but certainly not of him.
2. Jesus said that all would fall, but Peter said not me!
3. "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" Prov. 16:18
4. 1 Co. 10:12, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall".
5. How often do we see failure in the lives of others, and say that it would never happen to us.
C. Jesus personalizes the prediction. v30-31
1. When Jesus uses the word 'verily' it is to draw attention to what He is about to say.
2. It is a word of emphasis, 'Verily I say unto thee,'
3. Notice that this statement is directed to Peter, not to the entire group.
a. 'You will deny me'
b. 'You will deny me before daybreak'
c. 'You will deny me three times'
4. John and Matthew's account are very similar to the one we have here in Mark, but Luke records a few statements of Jesus that are quite interesting.
Luke 22:31, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
a. Peter was going to have to deal with Satan that night.
b. Satan's greatest weapon against us is fear.
c. God would allow Satan to tempt Peter, and when it was over, Peter would use this experience to strengthen others.
5. Notice Peter's response in v31.
a. he avowed with greater intensity that he would not deny Christ.
b. he was willing to die rather than deny his Lord.
c. with that all the others agreed!
II. The Fulfillment.
A. Signs of Peter's weakness:
1. Indifference. v32-42
a. Three times he, along with James and John, fell asleep in the garden while Jesus prayed.
b. Although James and John were also sleeping, Jesus directed His rebuke at Peter.
c. Peter had said he was willing to die with Jesus, but in reality he wouldn't even stay awake and pray with Him for an hour.
d. NOTE: Jesus doesn't want us to die for Him, but He does expect us to live for Him.
2. Impulsiveness. v43-47
a. When the mob came to take Jesus away, Peter drew his sword and attacked!
b. Peter reacted in the flesh ... he never waited to see what Jesus would say, he just took matters into his own two hands.
Luke 22:49, "When they which were about Him saw what would follow, they said unto him,, Lord, shall we smite with thq sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear."
c. Jesus rebukes him for his impulsive act of violence.
3. Fear. v48-50
a. When they laid hold of Jesus and bound Him, the rest of the disciples fled.
b. The account of the gospels do not differ on this point, they all forsook Jesus.
c. So the prediction made earlier by the Savior came to pass, as He was left alone with the mob, the disciples were scattered.
B. Statements of Peter's Denial
1. In the courtyard. v54; v66-68a
a. Here the first denial took place, in the courtyard of the high priest's pa1ace.
b. Peter is warming himself by the fire along with some of the very mob that took Jesus in the garden.
c. There in the flickering light of the fire, he was recognized by a young servant girl.
d. Peter denied that he was with Jesus, saying he didn't know what they were talking about…and then the rooster crowed!
2. On the porch. v68b-71
a. Peter moved from the fire to avoid being identified.
b. The maid wouldn't quit, she spoke to those who stood by and declared that he was one of them!
c. Again Peter denied that he had been with Jesus.
d. Later the crowd grew more suspicious and said that even his speech declared that he was a Galilaean, and that must be one of them!
e. At this point Peter, realizing that his speech had given him away, resorted to the language of the street to try and mask his identity.
f. He began to curse and swear saying that he did not even know this man Jesus!
3. Sudden occurrences. v72, Luke 22:60-62
a. Immediately upon Peter' s third denial, the rooster crowed again.
b. At that very moment Jesus turned and looked at Peter.
c. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord.
d. These three occurrences took place at the same time and brought Peter to his senses.
e. We read that Peter went out and wept bitterly, his pain was severe, and his true weakness had been revealed to his Lord.
f. It is not so much our sin that causes us to weep, as it is seeing our Savior that we have sinned against.