Our Savior, the Lord Jesus prophesied first to Peter. Jesus is God. Only God can see the beginning, or the present, from the end. To God, it has already happened to the One who is not bound by time and space. So Jesus just plainly challenged Peter for his boldness, since Peter had not been tested before for his faith. Peter had been holding onto a faith that was all easy sailing, as a follower of a powerful Individual who brought righteousness, healing and wisdom to crowds of people. The Man worked miracles, He calmed a storm, He fed thousands with 2 fish and 5 loaves. Peter hid behind this Man. Now it is time for Peter to be put through the test. After the test came boot camp.
In our walk with Christ, do you feel that you have been tested and yet stand? Or do you feel that you are more like the fairweather believer who does well only when times are good?
Peter had a few hurdles before he was baptized in the Spirit in Acts 2.
Count The Cost Of Discipleship
Here is that cocky little conversation and it was met with the Lord’s rebuttal from His own prophecy. The prophecy pointed to the Shepherd that came out of the Zechariah 13 prophecy, and the flock that He led. That prophecy was told to Zechariah by the Word of יהוה Elohiym. Here, He just repeated that prophecy to Peter 500 odd years apart. A day with the Lord is like a thousand years. So 500 years are like just half a day for Jesus.
We cannot undo a prophecy. Heaven and earth may pass away but His (Jesus’) words will never pass away. They will be accomplished as appointed. Peter got cocky at a prophecy. He probably did not mean to be disrespectful. Peter probably was too full of himself. Interpretation, he relied on his strength rather than through prayer and receiving strength that comes from his Lord. Here before He was arrested, Jesus said to the Eleven.
Matthew 26:34 English Standard Version (ESV)
31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”
The Bible says Peter denied Christ. He did not say, “I am not a Christian”. He did it out of fear of man and their opinion. One moment, he was hiding behind the greatest prophet, in his mind, and even the Son of the Living God in a singular moment of heavenly revelation. The next moment, he felt like a zero. That is the essence of a man’s denial of Christ in public. Let’s unpack to view how a person today may deny Christ still without saying “I am not a Christian”. There are ways.
The Gospel carries many new prophecies told us by Jesus. Jesus told Peter one here.
34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
15 Now Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he also went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. 16 But Peter stood outside at the door. Then the disciple who was known to the high priest went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in.
The “another disciple” is rank and file with Peter, by using the word another. He was John the youngest disciple among the Twelve.
Peter and a servant girl. Peter would deny his relationship with Christ even to a little girl who is not even a soldier. She was weaponless. Fear took over Peter. In the split of a second, Peter contemplates the consequence of being arrested as the man he so admired was. He had said he left everything just to follow Jesus. But his very words are put to the test. And because God desires for Christ’s disciples to receive strength in the Son, God will also have a program for each of us. So be prepared today.
Peter by now had known Jesus for just over two years. He only met the servant girl for not even 5 minutes. But his lack of courage let a little girl expose his weakness.
17At this, the servant girl watching the door said to Peter, “Aren’t you also one of this man’s disciples?”
“I am not,” he answered.
Today, your office coworker may have seen your neck lace. So she asks, “Are you one of those Jesus’ people?”
And you answer, ” No, I am not.” Denial of Christ.
So how would you handle that question?
A. Invite her to church.
B. Quietly pray for her.
Both answers count as denial of Christ. The objective of the words of Christ in saying this is simple. Just acknowledge Him.
“Whoever acknowledges me in the presence of others I will also acknowledge in the presence of my Father in heaven. ”
Peter did not leave the scene. He wanted to know what would become of His teacher. He quietly kept himself in a low profile. But he was spotted by the servants and the officers.
18Because it was cold, the servants and officers were standing around a charcoal fire they had made to keep warm. And Peter was also standing with them, warming himself.
Simon Peter was still standing and warming himself. So they asked him, “Aren’t you also one of His disciples?”
He denied it and said, “I am not.”
So your neighbor or the cashier that you are familiar with at the local grocer’s saw you leaving the church. So on another day, they mention seeing you.
“Are you one of those Jesus people?”
“No. I am not.” Christ denied.
How would you handle the same situation?
Now Peter goes up the ladder. The first two scenes did not involve eyewitnesses of Peter with his company, but the final scene did. These posse of the high priest, who went to apprehend Jesus at Gethsemane, had seen the balding old guy the night before. They remembered Peter even in the dark. This time a family member of the man who Peter assaulted spotted him. The servant noted that Peter was one of the loyal followers of Jesus at the time of His arrest into custody. I think Peter’s denial of Christ took the servant by surprise. One moment he was so gung ho! and the next, he cut ties with Christ.
26One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you with Him in the garden?”
27Peter denied it once more, and immediately a rooster crowed.
Perhaps your mail carrier told you that he saw you having coffee one day with a famous religious man.
“Hey, were you having coffee with that famous pastor? So you are one of those Jesus people, huh?”
“No, I am not.” Christ denied.
How would you handle the situation?
Fifty odd days later, Peter was baptized by the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. Peter became unstoppable. He gave a strong sermon fearing no toes being trod on.
So this lesson is telling us not to beat ourselves up if we chicken out at every opportunity to testify for Jesus.
It is just a courtesy reminder to tell many in these times of denial of Christ that he or she is not saved. Look at Peter. The Peter that was baptized in the Spirit was a new creation. The old is gone, the new is come.
Confess sin and ask to be filled by the Spirit of God. In Acts 1 verse 8, Jesus says the Spirit is dynamite.
The Bible sees one who denies Christ in public as one who is not saved, not having been baptized in the Spirit by Christ.
Even that can be the grace of God letting the seeker know he needs to receive salvation by coming to the Father through the Son.