Lesson 85

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

14:66 As Peter was beneath in the court, one of the maids of the high priest came, 14:67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, "You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus!"

14:68 But he denied it, saying, "I neither know, nor understand what you are saying." He went out into the porch, and the cock crowed.

14:69 The maid saw him, and began again to tell those who stood by, "This is one of them." 14:70 But he again denied it. After a little while again those who stood by said to Peter, "You truly are one of them, for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it." 14:71 But he began to curse, and to swear, "I don't know this man of whom you speak!" 14:72 The cock crowed the second time. Peter remembered the word, how that Jesus said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." When he thought about that, he wept.  

Today's Lesson

Jesus had come to Jerusalem to eat the Passover meal with His disciples. After several days of teaching in the Temple courts, He had shared the Passover with them in the upper room. When they had finished they went to the Garden of Gethsemone on the Mount of Olives and Jesus had stayed there for a while to pray. It was there that Judas had brought the guards of the Temple and the priest to arrest Jesus. He had betrayed the Lord with a kiss and Jesus was led away to the home of the High Priest to be put on trial in the middle of the night.


Peter had followed the multitude and had stayed in the courtyard as the trial proceeded. Even though they had brought false witnesses against Jesus, they had a hard time pressing the case because the witnesses could not agree with one another. Finally the High Priest had questioned Jesus directly and Jesus had told them that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. Then they condemned Jesus on the grounds of blaspheme to the holy name of God and for claiming to be God.


Peter heard all these things in the courtyard. He heard them condemn Jesus. With all the yelling and commotion, Peter knew the results of the trial. After they had condemned Him, one of the maids of the house confronted Peter. She asked him whether he was with Jesus. Having heard Jesus condemned, Peter told the woman that he did not know Jesus. She asked him again and again Peter denied that he knew Jesus. Others in the courtyard heard him and recognized Peter's Galilean accent. They confronted him about being a follower of Jesus and for a third time Peter denied Him, this time with curses and swearing. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said that he would deny Christ three times before the cock would crow twice in the morning.


Judas had betrayed Jesus and now Peter denies Him. However, there is a difference between the two. Judas premeditates and plans betrayal. Peter collapses in a moment of weakness. Peter displays remorse and instantly feels shame for what he has done. Judas comes to regret his betrayal, but does nothing to repent of his actions.


We all have moments of weakness. We all deny Christ in one way or another. It is how we respond to God's forgiveness after we deny Him that makes the difference. It is not whether we will sin that separates the redeemed from the lost; it is how we respond to the sin that makes the difference.


How do you respond when you realize that you have failed God? Do you know the forgiveness that God offers those that fail Him?


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