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Peter On Trial


 Matthew 26:58, 69-75

Last week in our study of the gospel of Matthew we looked at the arrest and trial of Jesus.

And we talked about how Jesus told the mob that coming out at night with all the swords and clubs was so unnecessary because they could have arrested Him at any time during the day.

It was an ugly scene.

And then we talked about Jesus’ trial found in verses 57-68…that is if you can call it a trial.

Everything they did was illegal but they weren’t worried about legalities.

It was an ugly, ugly scene.

But I want you to notice verse 58 again.

I think Matthew puts this here because he wants us to see that during this dark hour more than one man is on trial.

So let’s begin in verse 69.

Now, keep in mind just a short time before this (in vs. 31) Jesus had told the disciples that “He would be struck down and that they would all fall away or be scattered.”

But look at verse 69. Peter was in the courtyard…and one of the servant girls of the high priest comes up to him and she looks at him and she says, “You too, were with Jesus the Galilean.”

He denies Christ!

Peter goes to the gateway…and another servant girl sees him and says to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth!”

And Peter doesn’t know that even as he denies Jesus that his own words betray him because of his Galilean accent. Look at the end of verse 73. They say, “Surely, you are one of them, for the way you talk gives you away.”

Notice now verse 74. Peter has got to convince these people that he is not one of those who followed Jesus so “he began to curse and swears, “I do not know the man.”

 And notice that Matthew says, “Immediately a cock crowed.”

Notice the irony. Inside, a bunch of brutes are beating Jesus while He is blindfolded, telling Him to prophesy…mocking Him as a prophet…while outside exactly what He prophesied would happened is coming true.

Look at verse 75. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a cock crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

 Not one time during this whole episode does Peter use Jesus’ name.

When Peter weeps here I believe that his tears reflect genuine sorrow.

And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.  6    And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, {here is} the place where they laid Him. “But go, tell His disciples and Peter….”

Make sure you tell Peter. Be sure that Peter knows that Jesus wants to see him again.

You see, the great danger in a story like this is for you to say, “It is a great story but I just can’t relate to it. It could never happen to me.”

Let me close now with just a couple of lessons that hopefully we will learn.

First of all I want you to go back to verse 74.

I want you to notice that after he curses…the people never accuse him again about being a disciple.

And the thing I think we need to understand is, if it worked for Peter…it will work for us.

It will work every time.

Peter “cursed and swore” and denied Jesus and no one charged him anymore with being a disciple.

You see, what you say says a lot about whose you are?

Lesson Number 2: Be careful about thinking to much about yourself.

Do you remember earlier in the evening when Jesus was in the garden and he came back and three times he found Peter and James and John asleep?

Jesus knew what was going to happen that night…and he knew that unless Peter prepared himself the flesh would give in and he would fall.

Let me tell you, Satan is going to present several opportunities this week for you to confess or deny Jesus as Lord.

It may be one of many possibilities…and depending on how you handle it….you will either confess or deny Jesus.

It is so important for you to be in worship each week…and each Sunday night…and each Wednesday evening.

And finally, we need to learn that sin is a reason for weeping.

Do you know what sin is? Sin is a denial of the Lordship of Jesus.

And because he did…the Lord took Peter back again.

IF all we do is excuse sin….deny sin…ignore sin…justify sin….and by doing so deny the Lordship of Christ….then their will be no sorrow…there will be no repentance…and as a result their will be no restoration back to Christ.

Conclusion: Jesus wasn’t the only one on trial that night…Peter was too. And today each one of us in on trial. Where do you stand with Jesus? What do people say about you?