Matthew 26:69-72 NIV
Peter Disowns Jesus
69Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
70But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
71Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
73After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
74Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75Then Peter remembered the Word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown Me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Improper self-confidence, like that of Peter, is the first step to a fall. There is a proneness in all of us to be over-confident. But those fall soonest, who are the most confident in themselves. Those are least safe, who think themselves most secure. Satan is active to lead such people astray. They are most off their guard: God leaves them to themselves, to humble them.
It is a great fault to be shy of Christ; and to dissemble our knowledge of Him, when we are called to own Him and it is in effect to deny Him. Peter's sin was aggravated; but he fell into the sin by surprise, not as Judas with design. But conscience should be to us as the crowing of the cock, to put us in mind of the sins we had forgotten.
Peter was thus left to fall, to abate his self-confidence, and render him more modest, humble, compassionate, and useful to others. Little do we know how we should act in very difficult situations, if we were left to ourselves. Let him, therefore, who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall. Let us all distrust our own hearts, and rely wholly on the Lord.
Peter wept bitterly. Sorrow for sin must not be slight, but great and deep. Peter, who wept so bitterly for denying Christ. After having wept bitterly, Peter never denied Him again but confessed Him often in the face of danger. That is a sign of the true repentance of Peter.
Peter and John Before the Sanhedrin
1The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. 2They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.3They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.
5The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. 7They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel:
It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified but Whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other Name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16“What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
18Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the Name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John replied,
“Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to Him? You be the judges! 20As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
21After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.