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THE SAYINGS OF THE CRUCIFIXION (2)
Peter Will Never Be Offended
Matthew 26:33-35; Mark 14:29-31
Victor M. Eskew
A. In our first lesson in this series, entitled: “The Sayings of the Crucifixion,” Jesus foretold of His death and of that fact that His disciples would be offended because of Him.
B. The impulsive Peter could not fathom such a thing happening. Too, he could not keep quiet.
1. Both Matthew and Mark record Peter’s response to the Lord (Matt. 26:33-35; Mark 14:29-31).
2. We have entitled this section: “Peter Will Never Be Offended.”
3. We will study Matthew’s account and supplement it with Mark’s account when additional information is provided.
I. THE REPUDIATION (Matt. 26:33)
A. Peter just could not imagine being offended because of Jesus. Thus, he repudiated the Lord’s words (Matt. 26:33).
Peter and answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
1. Peter’s response is immediate.
2. Peter’s response is bold.
3. Peter’s response is certain.
B. Question: Can men and should men speak with such certainty about their steadfastness in the faith?
1. Two examples:
a. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Dan. 3:16-18).
Shadrach, Meshach, and Adednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
b. Peter and John (Acts 4:18-20)
And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
2. The difference: These examples involve individuals while they were in the midst of their trails. When Peter spoke in tonight’s lesson, he was not facing the trail. Thus, Peter spoke prematurely.
1. Sometimes we are not the best judges of our hearts.
2. We need to give heed to I Corinthians 10:12.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
3. We need to develop qualities in our lives that will help to ensure that we can stand when the trials come: faith, conviction, and courage.
4. Sometimes we are better off to hold our tongues and prove our faith with our actions, lest we be proved a fool.
II. THE REVELATION (Matt. 26:34; Mark 14:30)
A. Jesus did not let Peter’s words go by without any reply. In fact, He set forth a revelation about what would happen to Peter that very night (Matt. 26:34).
Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
B. Jesus goes into some interesting details about Peter’s offense.
1. He affirms the fact again: “Thou shalt deny me.”
a. The little word “deny” means “to deny utterly” or “disown.”
b. Because we are blessed with addition revelation, we can hear these words from the lips of Peter: “I know not the man.”
c. POINT: This was not the first time Peter was told that he would deny the Lord (See John 13:38).
Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
2. He told Peter that he will deny him that very night.
3. He set the precise time as “before the cock crows.”
a. Mark’s account states: “Before the cock crows twice.”
b. The rooster would usually crow two times: at midnight and at the break of day.
c. The second time was called “cockcrowing” (See Mark 13:35).
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning.
d. Before the rooster crowed at dawn, Peter would have denied the Lord.
4. Not only would he deny Him once, but three times.
C. Here we see divine foresight rather than predestination.
1. Predestination means that Peter had no choice in his denial of the Christ. He had to do it.
a. If this were the case, Satan did not know it for he desired to have Peter (Luke 22:31). If it were predestined, he would have no need to desire him.
b. If this were the case, Peter did not know it because he thought he could exercise his free moral agency. Predestination pretends that man has free moral agency, when he really does not. Predestination means he has no choice.
2. This is really a case of divine foreknowledge. Jesus could look down the corridor of time and see Peter’s choice to deny Him.
III. THE REPETITION (Matt. 26:35)
A. Peter continued to contend with the Lord. He states again that he will not deny the Lord (Matt. 26:35a).
Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.
1. Marks account states: “But he spake the more vehemently…”
a. The word “vehemently” means “superabundant,” “over and beyond,” and “more plainly.”
b. Peter’s voice tone was probably elevated. He most likely continued to say, over and over, “I will not deny thee.”
2. Peter thought in his heart that he was right. He could not envision anything that would cause him to deny Jesus. He notes that he was even willing to die for Him.
B. The other apostles also agreed with Peter’s statement (Matt. 26:35b).
Likewise also said all the disciples.
1. Because Peter is so bold and brazen, we focus on him.
2. Ten others also stated the same thing that Peter did.
a. All were confident in their steadfastness.
b. All of them verbally proclaimed that they would not deny the Christ.
C. LESSON: Word and affirmations do not always mean much. They sound good. They put one in a positive light. But, they mean nothing. Actions are the key!
A. The tensions of the crucifixion are mounting.
1. Jesus has announced His death.
2. He has foretold that the apostles would forsake Him.
3. All this was to come to pass that very night.
4. The apostles, especially Peter, vehemently deny that they will forsake the Lord.
B. This is only the beginning.
1. Jesus knows what is coming.
2. His next move is to prepare Himself for the events to come.
3. He and His disciples move from the Mount of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane.