Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Peter's denial of Jesus in 4 parts

I am almost done with my study of Matthew! 2 more chapters to go! It has taken me on a few tangents and today's post is another one. When I got to the part of Peter's denial of Christ I decided to look at all 4 versions and how different each author wrote things, and how they observe different things. Again this is very simplistic, because that is who I am, (I wish I didn't always feel compelled to state that!!!), but I hope it blesses any of you.

Matthew 26: 69-75

  • 1st Peter just denies knowing Christ. He claims he does not understand
  • 2nd Peter denies with an oath. (Getting stronger)
  • 3rd Peter invokes (calls out) a curse on himself and begins to swear
  • Then the Rooster crows

Mark 14:66-72

  • After the first denial, Peter leaves the courtyard and hangs out by the gate.
  • The rooster crows once.
  • Marks account says the same servant girl who first asked him, speaks to people around her about him, and this brings the 2nd denial.
  • The bystanders begin to question Peter, and he invokes the curse.
  • The Rooster Crows a 2nd time.
  • (This is different from Matthews account of the Rooster crowing just at the end)
Luke 22:54-62
  • Peter followed at a distance - He ran but not far.
  • Luke's is mostly facts, except for one BIG detail - After the Rooster crowed it says in verse 61 - "And the LORD turned and looked at Peter". Can you imagine it!!! To not only hear the Rooster crow, but at that very moment Christ turns and looks at you!! As I write this I feel such intense sorrow! How often do I deny Christ, and he turns to me, and what I see is pain brought on by great LOVE!
John 18: 15-18, 25-27
  • Peter is with another disciple (most likely John)
  • This disciple is "known by the High Priest". It says this twice, within this context. I wonder how he was know by him, don't you?
  • Because he was known by the High Priest, he was able to go into the court with Jesus. He returned after he ran, and walked the rest of the way with Christ to his crucifixion.
  • This disciple was the one who got Peter into the courtyard in the first place, because he was known by the High Priest.
  • A servant of the High Priest, who just happened to be a relative of the servant whose ear Peter cut off was one who was observing that Peter was one of those with Jesus.
  • At once the Rooster crowed
But thanks be to God that was not the end of the story, and it isn't for me as well. Christ restored Peter and gave him a job to do:

John 21:15-19

15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?"
"Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."

16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep. 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." 19Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

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3 comments:

e-Mom said...

I really love these passages too, Kim. Isn't it amazing that Jesus asks Peter THREE times if he loves (agapes) him after those three denials. Twice, Peter answers that he "phileos" him. Finally he answers that he "agapes" him. (I heard this preached in a sermon once. Don't quote me!)

The description of Jesus turning to look at Peter--who was his best friend--is so poignant. It pierces to the heart. Remember, it was Peter who first acknowledged Jesus as Messiah at Caesarea Philippi.

Jesus was willing to die for his friend Peter, but at that point Peter was not willing to suffer for Jesus. Quite a difference from the Jonathan/David story isn't it? Of course, we know that later, that Peter witnessed the transfiguration and ultimately suffered martyrdom for his Lord.

I've never thought about that part about "John" being known by the High Priest. Will do some research.

A wonderful post!

(((Hugs)))

Mari said...

I remember hearing this Bible story when I was younger and being so mad at Peter. Now I realize how like him I am, and how many times I have denied Christ.
Thanks for sharing all the versions - very interesting.

Shelley said...

Oh I loved this - thank you. I am so thankful that this account is in the Holy Writ because it gives me hope. I fail often - but I'm so glad that Jesus is our Redeemer - If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all un-righteousness 1Jn 1:9- THANK YOU LORD.

I'm also going to look into why John was known - thanks for making that clear - don't you just love the Word - something fresh all the time.