Peter Denies Jesus
Scripture: Matthew 26:57-75
This video clip about Jesus is heart wrenching to watch. First, we see the illegal trial of Jesus before Caiaphas, then we see Peter’s denial of Jesus. First, the illegal trial takes place. According to Jewish law, for a trial to be legal, there must be two witnesses to prove guilt in a crime. Two false witnesses showed up to Jesus’ trial, but their testimonies did not match. So, what were the Pharisees trying to convict Jesus of? They were trying to convict Him of blasphemy which was punishable by death in the Jewish law. Blasphemy is when someone takes upon themselves the rights of qualities of God. After the witnesses failed to support each other in their testimony, Caiaphas the high priest said to Jesus, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus then said unto them, “Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” This basically meant that He was testifying that He was the Son of God. So, because of the wickedness of Caiaphas and the Pharisees, when Jesus testified of His true identity as the Son of God, He was charged falsely (without two witnesses) and condemned to death for blasphemy in an illegal trial..
Now, let’s take a step back and look at the events prior to Peter’s denial of Jesus. Remember, just before the intercessory prayer, Jesus prophesied that before the cock crew (Matthew 26:34), Peter would deny Him three times. Peter was adamant that he would not deny Jesus, but Jesus, knowing how Peter would react under a certain set of circumstances, told Peter that he would deny Him. As we see Peter’s denial and recognition of what he did in the video, we can feel of his pain.
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So, you may ask, what was the difference between Peter denying Jesus and Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus? If we look at their hearts, you will see the difference. Peter always believed in and had a desire to follow Jesus. Even though the spirit was willing, his flesh was weak (Matthew 26:41). Peter did not premeditate the denying of Jesus. On the contrary, in his mind, he thought he would have never done that (Luke 22:33). He always did his best to follow and testify of Jesus. Judas, on the other hand, had premeditated or planned the betrayal of Jesus. He had met with the Jews beforehand and agreed to betray him for a sum of money. Judas, at least some of the time, had bad intentions, he was greedy, deceptive and did not seek the glory of God. Jesus knew of the true feelings of his heart long before the betrayal as He said, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70). Also, during the last supper, Jesus talked to Judas and said, “that thou doest, do quickly” (John 13:27). In other words, Jesus was saying that he knew Judas was going to betray Him, and He urged him to do it quickly.
So, what can we learn from this? If we have a good heart and continually try to do good as did Peter, we will still make mistakes and commit sins. However, we are more easily forgiven. If we have deliberate intentions of doing evil and committing sins and premeditate them, repentance can be very challenging and take a long time to achieve. If we find ourselves often with the latter mentality, we must repent, pray to God for a change of heart, study the scriptures and do our best to do good as soon as we can. Otherwise the chains of the devil will gradually bind us and lead us down to hell. If we need help changing, we can meet with the missionaries who are servants called of God, and they will help us know how to change for the good, so we will not lose our reward in heaven, but gain the everlasting reward God has prepared for us in the mansions of heaven.
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