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The denial of Peter

Mark 14:67

And seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said: “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus".

Full bible text

Mark 14 verse 27 to 31
27 And Jesus said to them: “You will all fall away, for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered'.
28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee". 29 Peter said to Him: “Even though they all fall away, I will not".
30 And Jesus said to him: “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times". 31 But he said emphatically:
“If I must die with you, I will not deny you". And they all said the same.

Mark 14 verse 66 to 72
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came,
67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said: “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus".
68 But he denied it, saying:
“I neither know nor understand what you mean".  And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed.
69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders: “This man is one of them".
70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter: “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean".
71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear: “I do not know this Man of Whom you speak".
72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time.
And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times".
And he broke down and wept.

About this painting

Shortly before Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, He instituted the Holy Supper, and celebrated it with His disciples. After the celebration He says: "You will all fall away".
 Peter answers:
"Even though they all fall away, I will not".
And Jesus says to him:
"Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times".

Not long after, Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Getsemane. He is taken to the high priest’s house for questioning.
Peter follows Him at a distance into the courtyard of the house, where a coal fire is burning.
It’s a cold night.
There he is recognized by several people as a disciple of Jesus, but Peter three times denies that he knows Jesus.

From this story it becomes clear that in His suffering Jesus receives no support from His followers. All forsook Him.
The prophecy of Zecheria 13 verse 7 was thus fulfilled.
As the trial against Him begins, even the disciple who had most fervently professed his allegiance to Him becomes unfaithful to Him.
Beforehand, however, Jesus had interceded for Peter that his faith would not fail.
He knew beforehand that he would deny Him.
When Peter hears the rooster crowing, he realizes what he has done, repents and weeps bitterly.

Jesus deliberately chose to suffer in order to bear in our stead the punishment we deserve for our sins.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful - for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2 verse 13.

In John 21, when Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection fro the dead, He asks Peter - again by a coal fire - three times if he loves Him. Peter, humbled after his threefold denial, now replies three times:
"You know that I love you". Jesus then entrusts Peter being a shepherd of His sheep.

Faith in Jesus is tested, as metal is purified or tested in fire. In the letters that Peter writes to the congregations of Christ some 30 years later, he tells them not to be shocked at the fiery fire of the trial of their faith, because following Jesus Christ means sharing in His suffering, then also to share in His glory and victory over death.
He exhorts believers to be always ‘prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect’. 
1 Peter 3 verse 15.
As a shepherd of Christ’s sheep, he also calls others to tend the flock of God, to be vigilant against the temptation of the devil, and to be an example to the flock.

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