Peter was among the disciples of Jesus who loved Jesus very much. However, it is recorded in all gospels that he denied him three times. Even during the last supper, when Jesus told Him what would happen, Peter did not doubt himself and said he could not deny Jesus. However, still denied Him, which raises so many questions. So, why did Peter deny Jesus?
It is suggested that Peter denied Jesus because of fear. You can tell that the fear was too much because the first two people who suggested that she knew Jesus had very little influence on the crowd. Also, he denied Jesus to fulfill Jesus’s prophecy made during their last supper.
So, when did Peter deny Jesus? How did Peter deny Jesus? What happened after Peter denied Jesus? What is the significance of the rooster crowing regarding Peter denying Jesus three times? Was Peter’s denial of Jesus prophesied? How did Jesus know Peter was going to deny him three times? What lessons do Christians learn from Peter’s denial of Jesus? Read on to find out.
When did Peter deny Jesus?
It is said that Peter denied Jesus between the period of Jesus’s arrest and the moment they were praying, meaning that he denied Him at Gethsemane. The crowd was following Jesus closely up to the compound of the high priest. It was when Jesus was being questioned by the leaders, and Peter was in the crowd. After the first denial, which was probably before the five a.m., the rooster crew. However, we can say that the denial occurred around 5 a.m. because that is when Roosters crow.
How did Peter deny Jesus?
Peter denied Jesus three times. First, he denied Jesus to a lady who was just but a servant to the high priest Caiaphas. Mark 14:66 says, “ Peter was still down in the courtyard when one of the High Priest’s servants women came by.” When she came by, she said that Peter was one of the men who were with Jesus. Peter, filled with great fear, quickly denied knowing Jesus. Such fear is immense because, logically, the servant had very little influence on the crowd. When Peter denied Jesus to this servant, the rooster crowed.
In the second denial, it was to another servant woman, according to Matthew 26:71-72. It says, “ and went on out to the entrance of the courtyard. Another servant woman saw him and said to the men there, “He was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Again Peter denied it and answered, “I swear that I don’t know that man!”
And the third time, Peter denied Jesus an hour later after his previous denials. A person from the crowd recognized that his accent was northern and suggested that he knew Jesus. Peter denied Jesus and started cursing himself, according to Matthew 26:74.
What happened after Peter denied Jesus?
Peter saw Jesus after the third denial, and it dawned on him that what Jesus was saying during the last supper had happened. It was morning, and Jesus was being sent to Pilate for further questioning. Peter was filled with shame and went outside to weep. He cried bitterly, showing that he regretted denying Jesus. Peter felt that he had failed Jesus and failed to be who he wanted to be—to come through for Jesus. However, Peter did not know that he could not be the one to save Jesus because it was Jesus who came to save him and all humanity. Therefore Peter was forgiven and saved after repenting.
What is the significance of the rooster crowing regarding Peter denying Jesus three times?
The rooster crowing after Peter denied Jesus three times is significant in two ways. First, it confirmed the accuracy of Jesus’s prophecy because the first one that crowed after the first denial might not have been significant enough for Peter to notice that his actions were in line with what Jesus said. Secondly, the rooster crowing signified a new beginning for Peter after the denial. Roosters welcome a new day, and even though Peter denied Jesus, he cried bitterly, implying that he regretted and wanted a second chance.
Was Peter’s denial of Jesus prophesied?
It is suggested that Jesus Himself predicted the denial. There is no direct evidence of prophets from the Old Testament prophesying Peter’s denial of Jesus. Jesus himself did so during the last supper. Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him the following day before the crowing of the rooster. However, Peter, who loved Jesus so much, did not want even to imagine that he could deny him, and he was sure he was strong enough to overcome the temptations. Until he denied Jesus, he had not believed that he would.
How did Jesus know Peter was going to deny him three times?
Suggestively, Jesus was 100% human and 100% God; therefore, He knew about Peter’s denial using His supernatural powers as God. Jesus is the word that became flesh and knows the beginning and the end of each human, which is why it is implied that Jesus used His supernatural power at this point. Also, it is because there was no prior prophecy, and Jesus Himself prophesied. Also, at that time, it was around His main mission in the world—to save humanity, so His power was intense, and He foresaw the denial.
Lessons Christians learn from Peter’s denial of Jesus
Jesus is fully aware of everything that will happen in the lives of every person in each second.
In the book of Luke 22:31-34, it is shown vividly that Jesus knew that Satan would tempt Peter, and he even knew the time that he would deny Him. Verse 33 specifically says, “I tell you, Peter,” Jesus said, “the rooster will not crow tonight until you have said three times that you do not know me.” At this point, Jesus is fully aware of the exact time that Peter would deny Him. Because Jesus knows, it implies that for each Christian, Jesus knows that temptations are coming into people’s lives, meaning that Christians should trust Him. And because Christians trust that Jesus knows everything before it happens, it should be why they run to Him all the time. Verse 32 says, ” But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail. And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers.” From the fact that He knows what will happen, He is ready to strengthen you even after you fail the temptation as Peter did.
As a Christian, be watchful and prayerful.
Earlier on in Luke 22:40-46, Jesus had gone with His disciples to pray. Jesus moved a little further from them but still reminded them to pray so that they did not fall into temptation. However, they failed to pray and fell asleep. It is implied that as Jesus went into the olives to pray nearby, there was probably a cave where disciples let their guard down and slept instead of praying for strength. Following this failure to pray and to be watchful, Peter fell into temptation like Jesus had told them in Mark 14:38, which says, “And he said to them, “Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Because Peter did not pray, He became less watchful and gave into the flesh’s desire by denying Jesus.
Jesus has total control over all events happening in someone’s life.
Jesus told Peter that the cock would crow when He denied Him, and it did. This implies that Jesus was in control of every incident around the Betrayal, and still, He is in control of every incident around the life of any Christian.
You know Jesus was a prisoner and still made sure that the incidents happened as He had said because He was so powerful. The first cock crowed at midnight, which was so unusual because Jesus was in control and made sure that things happened according to His prophecy. Therefore as Christians, we should trust that Jesus is in full control of every situation in our lives.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.