The Weekend Word
Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
- So when they are done they sing hymn.
- Something I had not noticed before – I thought v.30-35 identified as Jesus foretelling of Peter’s denial took place in the upper room. But read what it says – they sang a hymn and then left to the Mount of Olives and then we have the prediction of Peter denying Jesus … on the Mount of Olives – not the upper room.
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.’
- Look how striking this statement is. They just went through the supper – God’s biggest gift – the participation of salvation with Jesus and Jesus sums up with “you will all fall away.”
- Why? For it is written – again Matthew highlights prophecy.
- Jesus does his work according to whose word? – The Lord’s word which is OT scriptures. Here it belongs to Zechariah 13
- Right before the institution of the Lord’s Supper Jesus speaks of who will betray him and now immediately after, he speaks of all falling away.
- What a gracious God we have.
32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
- Jesus tells them he will be raised from the dead and will come gather these scattered sheep once again – it was not kept secret.
- This is why Jesus knows that he is the only one who can drink that cup in v.29
- Jesus alone is the one who can predict Peter’s denial.
- Jesus alone is the only one who can pray in agony in the garden for strength to do his father’s will while the disciples sleep.
- It is Jesus alone who faces the crowds to arrest him – Jesus alone who faces his betrayer and Jesus alone who stops the hand of Peter who tries to defend him.
- Jesus alone walks towards the cross – and the way of the cross has been laid out by scripture.
- All of this Jesus does alone while the disciples get out of Dodge as fast as they can.
- This is the context of the rest of chapter 26 & 27 – Jesus does this alone because he is the only savior.
- All of the OT is pointing to this one alone so what do we hear at the end from the last OT prophet John the Baptist? Behold – look nowhere else, this one is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”
- Once again Jesus makes a declaration and Peter denies Jesus.
34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
- Jesus gives Peter specifics of his denial and also a trigger, as we will see, to remind Peter of both his failure and Jesus’ prophecy.
35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
- Peter always gets the bad rap – but read it again – all of the disciples said the same as Peter … and we do also.
- Paul said in Romans that all scripture is for our learning and instruction – so what are we to take away from this?
- What do we learn? That Peter was a jerk? That we are all jerks? No, what we learn is that Jesus is savior.
- This is why he said in v.32 that he would be raised and go ahead of them into Galilee.
- See Luke 22:31-34 as Jesus prays for Peter and his failures even as he prays for us (plural you is speaking of all the disciples.)
- This is not primarily a “learn from Peter’s mistakes so you do not do the same thing” moment – this is a learn from Jesus moment. Learn that Jesus is gracious and merciful.
“This is not primarily a ‘learn from Peter’s mistakes so you do not do the same thing’ moment – this is a learn from Jesus moment. Learn that Jesus is gracious and merciful.”
Thank God for grace and mercy!