Meanwhile, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came up to him. "You were also with Jesus the Galilean," she said.
I. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ONE WHO LOVES CHRIST TO DENY HIM. In the case of Judas we have seen that knowledge does not prevent treason; here we see that love does not secure one against the weakness of denial. The disciple betrayed his great Teacher, the friend denied his beloved Saviour. The offences were utterly different. Yet St. Peter's is distressing because it overcame the loyalty of love. The emotional and impetuous are in an especial danger of lulling before sudden temptations.
II. SELF-CONFIDENCE INVITES TEMPTATION. We pray, "Lead us not into temptation." Yet St. Peter boldly walked into it. His love for his Master kept him near to Jesus. While almost all the rest of the disciples - all but St. John - had fled, Peter hung on to the outskirts of the procession as Jesus was carried off under arrest to Jerusalem. For this we admire him. He was braver than the apostles who had not a chance of denying their Lord, because they had escaped from the dangerous scenes. It is not just, therefore, to say that he wilfully put himself in the way of danger. But if his heart drew him near to Christ, his humility and self-distrust should have warned him to be on his guard. Our loyalty to Christ may call us into difficult places; but then we should recognize that they are difficult, and pray for grace that we may walk circumspectly in them.
III. COURAGE IN EXCITING DANGERS IS OFTEN FOLLOWED BY COWARDICE UNDER QUIETER CIRCUMSTANCES. in the garden St. Peter was brave as a]ion, slashing at the high priest's servant with his sword. In the palace courtyard he cowers before a waiting maid's joke. It is a great man's house, and St. Peter is an uncouth fisherman; Christ has been seized, and his cause is apparently lost; the watch is long, the night chill, the disciple weary. All these things tend to undermine courage. But it is among such circumstances that we most need to be on our guard. Then there is no excitement of the battle to sustain us. In the hour of depression our danger is great.
IV. ONE FALL LEADS TO ANOTHER. If St. Peter can deny his Master once, it is not at all wonderful that he should deny him thrice. The descent to evil is an inclined plane, which grows steeper as we proceed along it. Therefore it is most needful to resist the tempter at his first onslaught. Like St. Peter, Christ was thrice attacked by the tempter. But unlike his servant, he worsted the foe at the first attack, and met him with the added strength of victory at the subsequent assaults.
V. THE TRUE CHRISTIAN WILL REPENT OF HIS UNFAITHFULNESS. The crowing cock reminds St. Peter of his Master's warning. Then his repentance is sudden and bitter. Christ's servant cannot sin without suffering. But his tears are healing. Though he fall, he shall rise again. - W.F.A.
Now Peter sat without in the palace.
I. The danger of self-confidence — "Let him that thinketh," etc. Rely on God for strength.
II. The highest favours, the most exalted privileges, do not secure us from the danger of falling into sin.
III. When a man begins to sin his fall from one act to another is easy, perhaps almost certain. The downward road of crime is easy.
IV. True repentance is deep, thorough, bitter.
V. A look from Jesus — a look of mingled affection, pity, and reproof — produces bitter sorrow for sin. Him we injure by our crimes, etc.
VI. When we fall into temptation, let us seek the place of solitude, and pour out our sorrows before God.
VII. Real Christians may be suffered to go far astray. To show them their weakness, etc.
VIII. Yet though a Christian may be suffered to go astray, yet he who should, from this example of Peter, think he might law. fully do it, or who should resolve to do it, thinking that he might, like Peter, weep and repent, would give evidence that he knew nothing of the grace of God.
(A. Barnes, D. D.)
I. Let no Christian rely on his disposition or feeling for safety from falling.
II. Let no Christian rely upon his past conduct as a safeguard.
III. Let no Christian presume to trust in conscience to keep him right in the hour of danger.
IV. Learn to realize the bitter memory of good words which came too late.
(F. Skerry.)I. SOME OF THE REASONS OF ST. PETER'S DENIAL.
II. THE REPENTANCE OF ST. PETER The compassionatism of the Man of Sorrows. He looked upon Peter. Memory acts in cases of repentance.
(W. D. Herwood.)I. Peter's sorrow arose from a sense of the guilt of his conduct, but Judas' from a perception of the consequences of his conduct.
II. Peter's sorrow was full of hope, but Judas' was full of despair.
III. Peter's sorrow drove him nearer to God, but Judas' drove him further from God.
IV. Peter's sorrow developed his Christian manhood, but Judas' became an element of sharp retribution. Repent or perish.
(J. W. Mays, M. A.)I. Who? Peter, the confessor of the Christ of God, etc.
VI. How? Three times, after being warned, through fear of a woman: etc.
(H. Bonar, D. D.)
LinksMatthew 26:69 NIV
Matthew 26:69 NLT
Matthew 26:69 ESV
Matthew 26:69 NASB
Matthew 26:69 KJV
Matthew 26:69 Bible Apps
Matthew 26:69 Parallel
Matthew 26:69 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 26:69 Chinese Bible
Matthew 26:69 French Bible
Matthew 26:69 German Bible
Matthew 26:69 Commentaries