Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me” (Luke 22:34 NKJV).
During the last days of Jesus, he intentionally told his disciples some of the things that will happen to him in the coming days. At the last Passover Supper with them, he instituted the Lord’s Supper; and commanded them to do same in remembrance of him. It was during this time that, he (Jesus) made a startling revelation that one of them (disciples) will betray him. By this time, Judas Iscariot had conferred with the chief priests and scribes that, he could help them get Jesus arrested.
When Peter heard that, one of Jesus’ disciples will betray him, he said: “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33b). Jesus then replied; “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me” (Luke 22:34 NKJV). Jesus’ words to Peter were fulfilled when he (Jesus) was arrested and taken to the high priest’s house (Luke 22:54-61). After he had denied Jesus three times, Luke describes Peter’s reaction by writing; So Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:62).
What’s the import of Peter’s denial of Jesus? I’m of the opinion that, Peter meant what he told Jesus, when he said; “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death” (Luke 22:33b). His failure to keep his words to Jesus was part of human weakness. I believe, Peter somehow underestimated the enormity of the aggression and hatred the religious leaders had for Jesus. Little did he know that, Jesus would be maltreated like a criminal. He also did not know that, the religious leaders could be so cruel to an innocent man like Jesus. As well, he (Peter) didn’t know the extent of Satan’s determination to get rid of Jesus by destroying and killing him. All this attest to the tremendous physical, psychological and emotional pressures Peter went through before denying Jesus.
It’s easy for any of us to criticize Peter for not standing with Jesus during his hour of need. Similarly, most of us do deny Jesus in our daily walk as Christians. We normally crumble and cave in to the demands of our peers who are non-believers. We could be tempted to betray Jesus with our words, thoughts and actions. This so true especially, in today’s world, where morality have broken down. The vogue now is, “if it feels good, do it.”
Saints, if there’s anything we can learn from church history, it’s the resilience and faithfulness of the Christians who, irrespective of the torture they endured because of persecution, they kept their faith in the Lord; and clung to the cross to the point of being martyred. May we pray for more grace to stay loyal and true to our faith no matter what pressures might come our way.
As always, let’s continue to hold each other’s hand and pray for ourselves as the coming of Jesus draws closer. Do send this study to your contacts as well.
Dr. Charles Mantey
Disiciples Revival Church
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