Key: Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. Matthew 26:34-35 ESV
Imagine finding yourself in a situation where you hope just one friend would stand up and come to your rescue. However, that friend never comes.
After Jesus had eaten with his disciples in what we know as the Last Supper, he revealed that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed. However, Peter insisted that he would never. Matter of fact, he said that he was willing to die for Jesus. The other disciples chimed in saying the same. Yet, after Jesus was taken in the Garden of Gethsemane to stand trial, Peter did deny knowing him.
After they took Jesus from the garden, Peter followed behind to see what would happen. A servant girl recognized Peter as being one of Jesus’s disciples, but he pretended that he did not know what she spoke of. Another servant recognized Peter and mentioned it to the those who stood nearby. Again, Peter denied knowing Jesus. Yet, people started to take a closer look, and again, it was said that Peter had been with Jesus. Peter started denying that he knew Jesus, and as he was doing so, the rooster crowed. Then, Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what Jesus said and left. He wept bitterly about what he had done. However, this was not the end for Peter.
After Jesus rose from the dead, he took time to restore Peter. One day, Peter and a few of the other disciples went fishing. They had tried to catch fish all night, but they could not catch any. Then from the shore, a voice told them to cast their nets on the right side. When they did, the net filled with fish. They knew it was Jesus. Peter rushed to shore. After having breakfast, Jesus took time to talk to Peter. He asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter said of course he did. Three times, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, and three times, he told Peter to go feed his sheep, meaning go proclaim the gospel to the people. For every time Peter had denied Jesus, Jesus responded with the mission he wanted Peter to complete. Go to my people and tell them the Word of God. Sometimes, we may find that our courage will fail us and hurt those closes to us, but through the love of Jesus Christ, we can find redemption. Will you deny Jesus, or will you allow the strength of God to carry you through difficult situations?
How important is loyalty to you in your friendships?
Has anyone ever let you down when you needed them?
How do you respond to a disloyal friend?
When Peter said he would not deny Jesus and would die for him, do you think he meant it at the time he said it? Why or why not?
Why do you think Peter did not want people to associate him with Jesus?
How would you have felt if you were Peter and realized you did what you never thought you would do?
Have you ever received a disappointed look from someone who trusted you? How did you feel?
After Jesus rose, he took time to restore Peter. How does it feel knowing that Jesus wants to give you a second chance?
Denying Jesus can happen in many ways. We may act differently around certain other people than how we act in church. We may do something that is out of character. How can we remain strong and let people know that Jesus is a part of our lives?
What does the bible say?
So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33 ESV
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 ESV
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:12 ESV
We are our strongest when we are in God. Do not depend on yourself to get you through hard times. Depend on God. We need His strength to make it.
Sometimes, we will disappoint others and ourselves, but it does not mean it is the end. Do not wallow in the disappointment. Ask for forgiveness. God will restore.
People will know you know Jesus by the way you talk and act. Show the world that you know Him.
*Do not let this bible study lesson stop with you. Tell others and help them become empowered by the Word of God!