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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

Denial Of Jesus On Four Channels - February 4, 2005


Sermon of the Week - February 4, 2005

In Matthew 26:34 Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice."

THIS NIGHT is worthy of note. ”Peter, you are going to deny Me and this is the night. Peter it won’t be long before you do it. It will be tonight.” It was a very unusual night. There would never be another like it. Not only would this be the night of agony in the garden and trial of Jesus, but also it was the night when Jesus would wash the feet of the Apostles, the night when He would institute the Lord's Supper. It would be the only time in history that Jesus would be present in physical form as the Supper was observed. This is the night.

Peter would eat of the bread; drink of the cup; hear Jesus pray; hear Him speak; sing the hymn and then go out and deny that he even knew Him. This is the night.

We are in the same situation. Jesus said, "I shall not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." He is present in spirit when we observe the Lord's Supper. We commune with Him. We too, eat the bread; drink the cup; sing the hymn; pray the prayer; hear the Word and then all too many times the Lord is denied by us before the day is over in word or deed.

Peter, this is the night when you will do it. Let us tune in to what happened. Recently I saw the President on television making a speech. At his right was his wife and at his left was the governor of the state. I could see the face of the President and the face of the President's wife, but I could not see the face of the governor. So I switched channels and then I could see the face of the President and the face of the governor, but I could not see the face of the President's wife. I switched channels again and this time I could see the faces of all three. Then I continued to switch back and forth and tried to decide which one I preferred. What you saw depended on the angle of the camera.

   The story of the denial of Jesus by Simon Peter is recorded by all four of the gospel writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We get a different view of the story by switching back and forth to all " four channels."

One of the lessons the Holy Spirit is teaching us is the lesson of judgment. In Peter's denial recorded twelve times, every angle is explored. It reminds us of instant replay. Let me look at that again and see if I saw what I thought I saw. On the Day of Judgment the sins of the unforgiven sinner can be looked at from every angle. All sides, back and front, up and down, even the motives of your heart are revealed. Perhaps a person would say, "Lord, under the circumstances I could not be expected to do any better." The Lord will say, "Let's look at it from another angle." Every aspect will be seen. The secrets of the heart will be made manifest and the true motives of every heart revealed. The Apostle Paul said in First Corinthians chapter four when the Lord comes He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and make manifest the counsels of the hearts. Remember Jesus said, "Whosoever shall deny Me before men him will I deny before My Father and His angels." That is the message that will come through on all four "channels" loud and clear in judgment. First notice channel Matthew.


According to "channel" Matthew, a maid spoke to Peter and said, "Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean." But he denied before them all saying; "I know not what thou sayest."

If Peter could fall, it can happen to anyone. That is the scariest thing of all. If it happened to Peter it can happen to you, it could happen to me. Look at all Peter had going for him. Look at him walking on the water. Perhaps he gained courage to walk on the water because it was apparent the ship would sink anyway so what have I got to lose, so why not try Jesus? He had courageous faith and denied his Lord. If it happened to him, it can happen to you.

Remember Jesus said all of you will be offended in Me. It was not just Peter who denied Jesus it was all of them that denied Him. Listen to that again; "All of you will be offended in Me." All of you includes you and all of you includes me. Jesus knows you are going to deny Him. Wherefore, let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

I know not what thou sayest.  In our way of saying it, Peter said, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT." The second denial was when another maid said; "This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth." And again he denied with an oath, "I know not the man." This time he put himself under oath. He said, "I swear I don't know him." I not only don't know Him, but I will swear to it on a stack of Bibles.

The third denial is when they said to Peter, "Of a truth thou art one of them for thy speech maketh thee known." Then began he to curse and to swear, "I know not the man." This time he added curses to his oath. Notice it says he began to curse and to swear. It seems that he repeated it several times for emphasis.

It is a sobering thought that channel Matthew the denial of Jesus by Peter began when he began to follow Jesus afar off. That is the reason for defection of many a saint. Following afar off. I feel as though I should not say it, but it does seem to me that most of the membership of most of the churches I know are filled with people who are following Jesus afar off: a very far off. It is not a very pretty picture that we see here. Perhaps it will improve if we switch to channel Mark.


According to channel Mark, the maid said, "Thou also wast with Jesus the Nazarene." But he denied saying; "I neither know nor understand what thou sayest." In Mark the denial is a little different. At first, he says, "I not only don't know what you are talking about, I don't even understand you. What you are saying is a mystery to me."

Mark is the only one of the four where Jesus said the cock would crow twice. The first crow is mentioned after Peter’s first denial and the second crow after the third denial. The other three mention the denial only after the third crow.

The second denial is recorded when a maid said, "This is one of them," and we are just told that he denied it. The actual words of the denial are not given.

The third denial is mentioned when we are told that they said to Peter, "Of a truth thou art one of them for thou art a Galilean." But he began to curse and to swear. Notice Mark says like Matthew that he began to curse and to swear. "I know not the man of whom ye speak." This time we learn what Matthew meant when he said, "Of a truth thou art one of them for thy speech maketh thee known." Peter had a Galilean accent. Jesus was called the Galilean. Peter talked like Jesus. At this time he had to put on a great performance in three denials to convince them he was not a disciple of Jesus.

May it be that we will develop the Galilean accent that people will identify us with Jesus? On the day of Pentecost Peter regained his Galilean accent. The audience that day said, “Are not all these that speak Galileans?” We hope as we preach the gospel that people will say of us; “This man also was with Jesus the Galilean.” I don’t have to talk with people very long to know whether or not they have a Galilean accent. If I hear such non-biblical terms as diocese, synod, my denomination, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, lent, it does not sound like a Galilean accent to me. Since I am no mans’ judge I would not say they don’t know Jesus, but I do think by their accent they sound like foreigners.

Let me say something to you in my Galilean accent. I will do my best to imitate Peter. He said to the penitent believers on the day of Pentecost, “Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 Here is another example of Peter’s Galilean accent. He said in his first epistle,  “If any man suffers as a Christian let him not be ashamed.” That was a dead give away. He had a Galilean accent. Notice he did not say if any man suffer as a member of any particular denomination protestant or catholic let him not be ashamed. Peter said Christian; he definitely had a Galilean accent. Here is one more example among many of Peter’s Galilean accent. He said, "There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." This was a perfect imitation of Jesus the Galilean Himself who said, "No one cometh unto the Father but by Me."    

Now notice that Matthew and Mark both mention that Peter began to curse and to swear after the third denial, while Luke and John do not mention the curse at all. It is still not a very pretty picture. Perhaps if we switch to another "channel" we can get a better view.


According to "channel" Luke, Jesus told Peter that Satan had asked for him that he might sift him as wheat. The Devil wanted to strain him through a sieve. The Devil knows how to sift us. If there is any weak spot in our character be assured the Devil will find it. The first denial was when a certain maid saw him as he sat in the light of the fire, and looking steadfastly upon him said, "This man also was with him." Notice she looked steadfastly on Peter. She stared at him as he sat in the light of the fire as though she was thinking; I don’t believe this; that one who had been with Jesus would be sitting here. What is he doing here? He denied, saying, "Woman I know Him not." The second is when a man saw and said, "Thou also art one of them." To this he said, "Man, I am not." On the third denial, according to Luke, it was about an hour later when one confidently affirmed, "Of a truth this man was with Him; for he is a Galilean." Peter's denial this time was "Man, I know not what thou sayest."

In other words, Peter says again, "I don't know what you are talking about." Hear him as Luke makes it very definite, "I know Him not, then I AM NOT  after this, man I know not what thou sayest.” At that moment the cock crew and Luke says the Lord turned and looked upon Peter. Jesus looked around and caught Peter’s eye. Then he remembered the word of the Lord and how that He said unto him, “Before the cock crow this day thou shalt deny Me thrice.”

When Peter denied the Lord, Luke tells us that the Lord turned and looked upon Peter. Peter went out and wept bitterly. After the resurrection, the Lord said, "Tell my disciples and Peter that I go before them into Galilee." Paul, in telling of the appearances of Jesus after the resurrection, tells us that one appearance was made to Cephas (Peter). Jesus made a special appearance to Peter alone. We are not told what was said. Perhaps when we get to heaven we can ask Peter what they talked about. It no doubt is a thrilling story. What an encouragement for us! We too, must repent when as Christians we fall and like Peter; the Lord will receive us back when we repent. Then we like Peter through the reading of the word and prayer can meet the Lord and talk things over. There is a tradition that the Apostle Peter always wept after this every time he heard the rooster crow. Perhaps that thought finds a place in your conscience. As for me I have heard the rooster crow many times. In fact I hope that the passing of time on this planet will not dull my spiritual ears to the crowing of my personal rooster. 

  Things don’t look any better perhaps we will learn more if we switch to "channel" John.


According to "channel" John, the first denial of Jesus by Peter was when a maid said, “Art thou also one of this mans’ disciples?”  "I am not."  The second denial is when others said to him, "Art thou also one of His disciples?" and his denial is recorded, "I am not." John says this happened at a fireside. It was cold and they had made a fire of coals; and they were warming themselves: and Peter also was with them standing and warming himself. We are social creatures and if we lose the fellowship of the saints the Devil will see to it that we will have a fireside to get warm. 

When a person removes himself from the fellowship of the saints they usually get cold to spiritual things. Such things as a daily reading of the word of God, leaves them cold. I have heard it said that when people are freezing they get drowsy and fall asleep and to freeze is to die. Some folk are in a fatal spiritual deep freeze.

The third denial describes Peter as standing and warming himself when one of the servants of the High Priest, a kinsman of him whose ear Peter cut off asked him, "Did I not see thee with Him in the garden?"  This time the words are not given. It just says that he denied. Luke says Peter sat at the fireside and John says for the third denial he was standing with them. Standing at the fireside of the enemies of Jesus. What a place for an Apostle to stand. Where do you stand in your witness for Jesus?

Years ago a chaplain of the United States Senate in his prayer before the session began, prayed that the Senate would be saved from those who stood for nothing and fell for everything. That is an appropriate thought for the servants of the Lord. Most of our membership today don’t stand for anything and fall for anything and everything that comes along. Where do you stand on the inspired word of God? Do you believe Peter when he said, "Holy men spake from of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit?"     

The servant of the high priest says, "Did I not see thee in the garden with Him you are the fellow who pulled out a big long knife and cut my brother's ear off."  I'd remember you anywhere. I saw you with Him in the Garden."  Peter denied it.

Does that ring a bell in your conscience? Did I not see thee singing the hymns in the assembly of the saint’s and where is this do I find thee now looking at a pornographic magazine or movie? Did I not see thee serving at the table of the Lord and where is this I find thee now?  

Listen to John again. "I AM NOT." After two flat‑out statements like that, it is no wonder that John does not record the third denial. To state that he denied was enough.

There it is on all four "channels." Jesus said that he would deny Him three times. It is recorded twelve times. Ten times the actual words are given and the other two times it is stated that he did it. Mark and John mention two denials, leaving out one. Matthew and Luke mention all three. Matthew and Mark mention curses and the oath, but Luke and John do not. The denial of Jesus by Peter is covered from every angle. Every view is there; only three denials, but it is recorded twelve times. It is held up and scrutinized from every possible angle. "This night, Peter, you will do it. This is the night." It seems that the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us something. If it happened to Peter it could happen to us. This is the message that comes through loud and clear according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as we view the denial of Jesus by Peter on all four channels.

          There is a glory in the cross of Christ seen through repentant tears, that will help us see the glory that will last down through the years.  There are marks of teardrops all along the path where saints have trod.  For teardrops mingled with their prayers have brought them close to God.  And when we get to heaven, I would not be surprised to find the jewels in our crown are teardrops crystallized.