The Reasons Peter Denied Jesus Christ Three Times
KEY SCRIPTURES: 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 10:12
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
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Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples and part of the inner circle of Jesus. Peter was introduced to Jesus by his brother, Andrew and since then, Jesus saw greatness in him and would always commit things into his hands. Jesus knew that Peter has a level of leadership within him and that is why he always makes us answer all the questions from His disciples including Peter. One of the predictions given by Jesus on the day of the last supper of Jesus Christ before His arrest and death was that Peter will deny Him three times but before the event, something happened.
During the feast of the Passover, the disciples asked Jesus where they will observe the feast, Jesus directed them to a place they will used and after all disciples including Jesus had gotten to the place, they sat down to observe the feast, Jesus began to tell them that one of them will betrayed Him and this caused Him to be sorrowful. The disciples began to question Jesus who would betray Him. As they were eating, Jesus took the bread and wine, then gave them, making them know that He won’t be eating with them again until the day they will all observe the supper again in His father’s kingdom. Jesus told them that they will be offended because of Him that night and all of them will run away but Peter said if all will run away from Him that he will not run away and then, Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crows. Peter was so sure of himself forgotten that there is a place of flesh which is ruled by fear and anxiety, there is also a place of the spirit which can only be sustained by prayers and being watchful. There are three reasons why Peter denied Jesus Christ three times, and, in this article, the three reasons will be discussed.
- WEAKNESS: 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Corinthians 10:12
Jesus had a reason for picking Peter to pray with Him at the garden of Gethsemane. The prayer was also meant to strengthen him after Jesus’ arrest so that he can strengthen other disciples but instead of praying, Peter was busy sleeping with other disciples. He was not watchful to pray against the prediction of Jesus. He allowed his weakness and tiredness to overrule his spirit. He thinks in his heart that he can overcome anything that may come his way since he is with Jesus, but he neglected the place of fierceness in the spirit in order to overcome temptations and trials. Peter’s weakness had caused him to be devoured momentarily as he denied his Lord because he hadn’t been prepared through prayer and he underestimated his own weakness. As Christians, we should always endeavor to pray without ceasing. No matter the level we might have attained with Jesus Christ personally or in our ministry, we shouldn’t be too relaxed and comfortable thereby neglecting to do the needful expected of us as believers. We should always be fervent in the spirit and continue to grow a deeper relationship with God. Any evil prediction or prophecy shouldn’t be taken likely but string prayers including fasting should be made to cancel such evil occurrences.
2. FEAR AND ANXIETY: 2 Timothy 1:7
When other disciples ran away after the arrest of Jesus, it was only Peter that followed Jesus closely and he saw the way the people were ridiculing and accusing Jesus, all these made fear and anxiety build up in his heart because he feared they would kill Jesus. Peter was fearful for his own life and had to find a way of escaping death which is by denying Jesus. The world hated Jesus, and Peter found that he was not prepared to face the ridicule and persecution that Jesus was suffering. Peter quickly found he wasn’t nearly as bold and courageous as he had proclaimed, and in fear he denied the One who had loved him. As believers, we shouldn’t give room for fear and anxiety no matter what. God has not given us the spirit of fear and we have the Holy Spirit in us to strengthen us in times of trials and temptations. The holy spirit has been given to us to help us in times of need. Whenever fear and anxiety want to set in, rebuke them and send them back to the pit of hell they came from by praying and speaking in tongues.
3. WRONG PLACE AND ASSOCIATION: 1 Corinthians 15:33
Peter was warming himself at the wrong gathering which led to him denying being associated with Jesus. He was at the wrong place even though he wanted to see what would happen to Jesus. Due to that costly mistake and decision, he denied Jesus three good times. We shouldn’t because of the right reason to move with the wrong crowd. It is easier for someone that is down to drag someone at the top than someone at the top to pull a person that is down to move up. WE should be watchful and make the right decision to follow association that will deepen your faith in God and make you fervent in the spirit. Bad company can destroy your life permanently, and you might not have the grace of Peter to ask for forgiveness and be forgiven.
I believe Jesus allows Peter to deny Him so that he can learn fully to depend on God and build himself up spiritually. Jesus had a higher goal, and He was equipping Peter to strengthen his brothers. Not only did Peter strengthen the other disciples, but he became the pillar of the early church in Jerusalem, exhorting and training others to follow the Lord Jesus. God used Peter’s many failures, including his three denials of Christ, to turn him from Simon, a common man with a common name, into Peter, the Rock. In all, we should be watchful and fervent in spirit. Engage the help of the Holy Spirit as a believer and ensure you are in the right standing with God.