1. Textual observations:
* Peter – Symeon (Hebrew); Cephas (Aramaic); Peter (petros - rock, Greek)
* Often called Simon in reference to home & family (Mark -30; Luke ) & w/Jesus (Matt. ; Mk. )
* Jesus addresses him, “Simon, Simon” indicating concern/stress (Luke ; Mt. ; Mt. 27:46)
* “Behold” is Greek for “eidon”- watch out!
* Satan = adversary, sometimes used generically (Num. )
* “Asked” or “desires” = exaiteomai (Greek) means “demand”
* Satan demands to have you (plural – apostles & all of us). Jesus made supplication for Peter ( sou - singular)
* “Sifting” – separating wheat from chaff by throwing into air. Wheat and chaff represent Godly & wicked (Mt. )
* Satan wants us all to be chaff & burn w/him eternally (Mt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
* Christ prayed that Peter’s faith (Mt. ) might hold fast. Peter’s faith would weaken, but grow stronger (Lk. 24:34)
* W/renewed faith, Peter is admonished to strengthen his brothers. Catholics claim this shows primacy of Peter. Not so!
* Peter not the only one who strengthens brethren, others did, too (Acts ;; ; ; I Thess. 3:2).
Paul wanted to establish brethren in
* This passage shows Peter’s weakness (Chrysostom)
* Peter ignored Christ’s warning, boasting “I’m ready to follow You to prison & death.” Ready = prepared (Mk. )
* Mt. & Mark report Peter makes claim using present tense wording (Mt. 26:35; Mk. ). Christ says Peter will
“utterly deny” Him.
* Jesus says, “You’ll deny me 3 times before the rooster crows”. Roosters served as “alarm clocks.” Mark wrote of
evening (); (); “cock crowing” ( 2 periods of crowing); &
2. What can we learn?
* Jesus as prophet (Isa. 41:23) – foretold of Peter’s denial (including time frame), repentance, and future service
* Jesus warning, “watch out” shows one can lose his salvation (I Peter 5:8; Judas – Jn. )
* Christ knew the reality of Satan (Mt. 4:1-11) Devil WILL flee IF we resist him!!! (Jas. 4:7).
* Balance between our free moral agency & God’s divine care. Christ our mediator (I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:14-16; I Jn. 2:1)
* All 4 Gospel writers record Peter’s fall – Bible is from God! Peter an early pillar of church (Gal. 2:9), yet look what
happened to him (Matthew 26:69; Mark 14:66; Luke ; John )
* Text shows danger of overconfidence! (Mt. 26:33; Mk. 14:29). “Let me lay down my life now” (Jn. ).
* Remember I Cor. 10:12: “Take heed lest ye fall.” (see also Rom. 12:3; Mt. 26:75)
* We can come back from sin IF WE REALLY WANT TO!!!
* Prison & death – Acts 4. Thrown in and told to stop preaching. Imprisoned again. Angel “broke them out” (Acts )
* Jews would have killed them, but let them off w/a beating & apostles rejoiced! (Acts 5:40-41).
* Peter so comfortable in prison he could sleep between 2 guards chained to him (Acts 12)
* Jesus gave him a glimpse of his grim future (John -19). Over time, Peter saw it coming and continued to
stand firm for the faith (II Peter -14).
* Evidence shows that Peter died a martyr in
place of glory due him.”
May the same be said of each one of us at the appropriate time. Are you ready for Final Judgment?