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.