Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LXXXIII: Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In Peter's Denial After Jesus' Arrest
(Luke 22:54-65)
  1. Introduction
    1. We believers do not cherish our spiritual failures, but we may even struggle with depression over them!
    2. However, our Lord is so great, even our failures are used by His sovereign oversight for His glory.
    3. This truth is illustrated in Peter's experience, and it provides us a great lesson in our walk today:
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In Peter's Denial After Jesus' Arrest, Luke 22:54-65.
    1. Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny Him three times that day before the cock crowed, Lk. 22:31-32:
      1. At the Last Supper, Luke 22:31 reveals Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to have him that he might sift him as wheat, meaning to put Peter through a difficult trial, Bible Know. Com., N. T. , p. 260.
      2. Nevertheless, Jesus said He had prayed that Peter's faith fail not, and that when he was turned again from his sinful denial, he might strengthen his fellow Christian brethren, Luke 22:32 ESV.
    2. Peter had responded that he was ready to follow Jesus to prison and death (Luke 22:33), but Jesus replied that the cock would not crow that day before Peter three times had denied he knew Him, Luke 22:34.
    3. Well, Luke 22:54-62 shows how Jesus' prediction about Peter's spiritual defeat was precisely fulfilled:
      1. When Jesus was taken into custody, He was brought to the high priest's house while Peter, trying his best to keep following Jesus, followed at a distance, the initial stage of spiritual failure, Luke 22:54.
      2. Peter sat among the others around a fire in the open courtyard of the home to warm himself from the cool spring (Passover Luke 22:1) night air, Luke 22:55; Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Luke 22:55.
      3. There, a certain maid saw his face in the dim firelight, and, looking intently at it, said to the others, "This man was also with him," meaning with Jesus, Luke 22:56.
      4. Afraid for his safety in that group setting, Peter gave his first denial of knowing Jesus, Luke 22:57.
      5. A while later, another party saw him and said, "Thou are also of them," to which Peter, having already denied the Lord, denied Him again by saying, "Man, I am not," a little stronger denial, Luke 22:58.
      6. An hour of time elapsed until a third person said, "Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean," meaning Peter's speech gave him away as a follower of Jesus, the Galilaean, Luke 22:59.
      7. This led to an even stronger denial, and Peter said, "Man, I know not what thou sayest," Luke 22:60a.
      8. As Peter was speaking, a cock crowed, and Jesus turned to look at him, causing Peter to recall Jesus' prediction that he would deny he knew Jesus that day three times before the cock crowed, 22:60b-61.
      9. Realizing Jesus' prediction had been fulfilled, Peter left the court and wept in bitter remorse, Lk. 22:62.
    4. However, in His grace, God used this denial of Peter to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ as follows:
      1. In the Luke 22:63-64 passage that follows, Luke records how Jesus' foes were blindfolding Him and striking Him in the face only to ask Him mockingly to predict who had hit Him.
      2. However, in view of the prophecy of Jesus concerning Peter that was being fulfilled even as such words about Christ's not being a prophet were being spoken reveals Jesus was God's true Prophet though thus mistreated, that His foes were saying blasphemous things against Him, Luke 22:65.
      3. We also know that when Peter was restored to fellowship with Christ, Jesus predicted he would be crucified like the Lord, cf. John 21:15-19. However, this was a great victory for Peter: he had initially promised to follow the Lord even to death (Luke 22:33), so Christ in grace would arrange for Peter to fulfill that pledge and follow Him in the same kind of death He died -- death by crucifixion!
Lesson: Peter's failure was used of God to glorify Himself as it prove the charges by Jesus' foes were false even as they were being made, and Peter's failure by God's grace became a bridge to final victory.

Application: (1) May we not get depressed at our sinful failures, for God is able to use them for His glory, and to enable us by His grace to overcome them! (2) May we confess our sins and move forward in our walk with God! (3) Yet, may we see that defeat often starts by following Christ half-heartedly (Luke 22:54) (4) or by entanglement in wrong associations (Luke 22:55-57), that (5) we repent of such partial obedience or leaving ourselves exposed to peer pressures to sin lest we go on into deep sin!