We are quickly coming to a turning point in our journey. The events that unfold before us today turned people away from walking with Jesus and eventually brought many others to follow, but then only after some tragic events. Today Jesus’ opposition begins to get the upper hand, and we will be there to witness it.
- Mark 14:1-2 – The Religious Leaders Plot to Kill Jesus.
- Mark 14:3-9 – Jesus’ Anointing at Simon, the Former Leper’s, House.
- Mark 14:10-11 – Judas Plots to Betray Jesus.
- Mark 14:12-21 – The Passover with Jesus’ Apostles.
- Mark 14:22-25 – Jesus Initiates a New Memorial.
- Mark 14:26-31 – Peter told he will Deny Jesus.
- Mark 14:32-42 – Jesus Prays in Gethsemane.
- Mark 14:43-52 – The Mob Arrests Jesus.
- Mark 14:53-65 – Jesus Stands Trial Before the Sanhedrin.
- Mark 14:66-72 – Peter Denies Jesus Three Times.
Let’s stop Peter and talk with him about Jesus. As we talk we ask, “Peter, what made you answer Jesus’ question about who He is? Why did you say He was the Christ?”
Peter answers, “Where have you been? Haven’t you seen all that He does? Haven’t you seen how the people come to Him? Have you listened to what He teaches? After all, the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the poor people have the good news about the Kingdom declared to them. He HAS TO BE the Messiah, the Deliverer our people have waited millennia for.”
Soon we are nearby as a supper is taking place. Jesus takes the twelve with him to a special room to celebrate the Passover with the ones He calls His family. We hear general talking, some commotion as Jesus does something unexpected (cf. John 13:1ff) and we hear Peter speak up again, “Even though they all fall away, I will not!” Peter means it. He knows himself and his own resolve. We hear Jesus’ reply, ” . . . this very night . . . you will deny Me three times.”
Peter remains adamant, “If I must die with You, I will not deny You.” Peter means it, the others speak in agreement. Jesus is the Messiah and they will die for Him and with Him. Peter will prove His resolve in the garden when He draws a sword to defend Jesus (Mark 14:47; John 18:10).
Later though, Peter will face his weakness. He will deny even knowing Jesus and will swear to ignorance of who Jesus is (Mark 14:66-72). Three things are complicit in Peter’s denial of Jesus; three things we need to be aware of in our own journey; three things that can lead us to deny Jesus, or at least act ashamed of Him.
- Pride: Peter thought he had arrived. He thought he was invincible. He thought he knew what he was talking about and what he was doing. But he was self-reliant. He looked to his own inner strength and not the strength that faith in God provides.
- Fear: Peter was afraid. He was afraid that he might be next. He followed Jesus and the mob to the courtyard, but he followed at a distance. He was afraid to go all the way in and he stopped in the courtyard. He was afraid he had put his faith in the wrong person. If Jesus could be arrested and put to death, could He really be the Messiah? Fear destroyed Peter’s hope.
- Association: (Mark 14:69). While in the courtyard, Peter warmed himself at the fire of the enemy. He put himself into a compromising situation. When the accusations began to fly, Peter had no back-up, he was alone in the enemy’s camp, unprepared to fight. They were too many and too much for Peter so he failed.
As we continue our journey keep a check on yourself. Watch out for pride. Do not begin to think too highly of yourself and your own abilities and strength. Do not let fear paralyze you. Fight fear with Faith in God, while Examining yourself and your actions. Accept your role as a servant of God and all that that entails. And when you find yourself fearful, Repent of your inaction and weakness. Be careful of your associations remembering that bad company can corrupt you (1 Corinthians 15:33).