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The Temporary Fall of Peter

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2021 8:00 am

The Temporary Fall of Peter

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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May 7, 2021 8:00 am

The great Apostle Peter...founding father of the early church, bold and zealous disciple...swore repeatedly that he had nothing to do with Jesus, and that he did not even know Him! During this episode of The Bible Study Hour, Dr. James Boice will help us see the 'Peter' in us all. Like Peter, we will fall, but we will only fall temporarily. Like him, true believers will rise and follow Christ again

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The apostle Peter, founding father of the early church, bold and zealous disciple swore repeatedly that he had nothing to do with Jesus that he didn't even know the man. During this broadcast of the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will help us see the Peter and us all together will discover how to respond to our own failures as we walk out our Christian faith and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Bortz preparing you to think and act biblically. Failure is an all too real. Part of the Christian life.

Like Peter, we will fall that we will only fall temporarily like him.

True believers will rise and follow Christ. Again, through prayer. Listen as Dr. Boyce explains from Matthew 26, one of the things we've noticed again and again in our study of Matthew is that the context matters on the words.

Matthew has put these various incidents from the life of Christ together, not on the haphazard fashion or even necessarily on a strictly chronological order, but in order to make theological points. You can call attention to that you don't do that in writing the gospel be quite awkward to say now the next point I want to make is this, and illustrated I want to tell you this story from life of Jesus Christ. That wouldn't be a gospel that would be a theological treatise. This is a gospel but nevertheless the context matters suddenly come to the story of Peter we see it immediately to media connections one is with the story which is just proceeded we've had. There is the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish trial versus 5767 chapter and what we notices at both are interrogation stories are the words Jesus is questioned by the high priests who are his enemies in the story, Peter is questioned by those who had gathered in the courtyard of the high priest outside waiting outcome of the trial. Both stories there is a response on the part of the Lord Jesus Christ.

On one hand, and Peter on the other.

Both of them actually affirm that truthfulness of their testimony by an oath. There is where the similarities cease and Jesus Christ was a proper oath because it affirmed the truthfulness of what he said but in Peter's case is oath was a lie again by taking his stand. Jesus stood for his people went to the cross and achieve their salvation. But Peter by repudiating Jesus Christ his master escaped as it would seem on scale of the great theologians of man by the name of Herman Ritter boss pointed that these parallels and said the juxtaposition of these two stories forms powerful proof that no one other than Jesus, not even Peter could do the work of the Lord's suffering servant Jesus alone would be faithful, and he alone could win the victory certainly were supposed to seek out only look at the story and then there's the second context, not with what has come before, but with what is immediately the following that is the action of Judas and his remorse and suicide followed Peter's denial easy to miss this contrast because of the break between the two chapters in chapters 26 and 27 incident interest connection. Both men failed badly and they fell. Peter was a believer and as a result of that is always temporary.

He fell, but he rose again the case of Judas's fall was permanent. Peter is in heaven, but Judas is and how now we need to look at the story and the first thing we need to say is that this is certainly a true account.

Christians of course will believe that because they believe the Bible is the word of God. God speaks truthfully and therefore it's a true story, but even skeptics would have to acknowledge that this is a true account for why would any Christian put this kind of a story about the chief of all the apostles Peter and the Bible. If it weren't true. By the thing you would never make up that would be a slander of the first magnitude. The biblical writers are truthful. I want to tell a visit is an Peter was no hypocrite. He undoubtedly told the story himself where they got it. Nobody else was there to watch what happened. So here honestly the story is told, it doesn't mean of course that there are some problems with it the problems is what seems to be a difficulty in putting these various questions and denials together. Let me just run through it.

Matthew says Peter was first accosted in the courtyard by a servant girl who charged that he had been with Jesus Galilei after latch other girl said to those who were standing in the gateway.

This followers with Jesus of Nazareth and finally says after a little while. Some of those who were standing around sexually or one of them for your accident gives you away. Matthew's account, Mark's account is similar. Only differences are variations in the precise wording of the questions that are asked that's not serious. Lucas and far off either, although he says that the first accusation came from a servant girl as Peter was sitting by the fire on the door at the second and third questions came later from unnamed individuals.

The biggest problem was with the gospel of John. John reports of the first question was asked by a servant girl as Peter was coming in the door on 1817. The second was asked while he was warming himself by the fire.

The third was from one of the high priest servants and John actually identified these relative of the man's ear Peter cut off and this man demanded.

Didn't I see you with them in the olive grove was of the difficulties not a lot of ingenuity has gone into trying to solve the problem. One of them was so rather heroic attempt made by Harold and Zell will call the battle for the Bible which is defending the inerrancy of Scripture, and he does it. In this case by positing six different questions that were asked Peter Brown that solves that, in the sense but it has problems of the song because Jesus and his warning to Peter beforehand said that he would deny him three times not six times. Actually, it's a tempest in a teapot. No real problem here. This was happening in the middle of the night. A lot of people were milling around any questions were vastly important thing is an Peter did to Miami did it the course of several hours, we can put it together something like this. Peter was brought into the courtyard of the high priest by a disciple knew the high priest, presumably John because he is there.

Jerusalem later in the story.

As Peter came in he was recognized by the girl who kept the door, although she didn't object to Peter's presence initially. Apparently she followed him on into the courtyard. It wouldn't of been very far and it was there that she asked her questions when you get the first denial at that point John doesn't actually say that she ask a question only at the door. He only says it was asked by the girl was at the door is no real contradiction. After this, various questions were asked by various people. The fire elsewhere near the gateway. All that led to Peter second denial and then things seem to have settled down. Matthew says sometime later Luke says about an hour later, that is, as the trial was drawing to a close. Those were in the courtyard accosted Peter again, among them the relative of man Peter. It attracts said didn't I see you with them in the olive grove now.

All of these questions. Peter responded with strong denials. I don't know what you're talking about Matthew 2670. I don't know the man versus 72 and 74.

I don't know this man you're talking about. Mark 1471. Under the question.

You also are one of them. He said I am not quite likely you have the answer in Luke and John, Matthew and Mark say is that Peter's later denials were enforced by Olds impersonators actually brought down a curse upon himself if he was telling a falsehood in each record that at Peter's third denial rooster crowed.

When Peter heard it, he remembered what Jesus had said it was chagrined. The Lord also apparently turned and looked at Peter at just that moment. Maybe through a window upstairs room where the trial was taking place, or perhaps the courtyard itself that they were being led through the courtyard of a place of internment where they were keeping them until early the next morning, the first three Gospels say that at that point Peter recognize what he had gone and they went out and wept. Matthew and she wept bitterly. Peter's denial of Jesus was a great and terrible sin. And it was a frightening 12, especially in light of what Paul wrote, Timothy, Paul told Timothy if we endure, we will also reign with him that we disown him. He will also disown us know this denial was terrible and great and frightening.

We have to recognize that it was nevertheless made by a courageous man and that was the last thing in the world. Peter ever intended to do the same. Peter's offense, we suggest a number of things. First of all Peter really tried to defend his master in the garden.

We know that was an active/was what Jesus told him to do.

He was greatly mistakenly misunderstood the nature of the Lord's ministry, but nevertheless was a strong act. Jesus told him why he was mistaken.

He said don't you understand that I can call on my father and at once and put at my disposal. 12 legions of angels were not going to do it that way because it we did have the scriptures be fulfilled say it must happen this way. Peter didn't understand that none of the other disciples did either but nevertheless you told Jesus that he was willing to die for him and in that moment at least, he seemed to be willing because single-handedly he was taking on the entire resting heart forward too hard on Peter, we have to ask the question what we have been as courageous as that of the middle of the garden having just woken up from sleep. What we have been as bold, then there's a second thing Peter followed in the distance. Now some people have looked at that and pointed out critically that it was at a distance on it inside some of even suggested that it was motivated by mere curiosity because were told in one place he wanted to see the outcome. Peter was a lease following the other disciples were not the possible exception of John. What happened is that the arrest of place in the garden on the side of the Mount of olives and when it happened.

The disciples undoubtedly scattered in the direction in which they were headed before they been spending each night of this final Passover week in Bethany on the far side the Mount of olives. I certainly didn't flee in the direction of Jerusalem. We kept going up the mountain where they thought they'd be safe and probably wanted to get together again in Bethany thinking that's where they would all collect Peter alone, as I say, possibly John didn't do that. He went in exactly the opposite of direction in the Jerusalem anomaly that he follow Jesus and the courtyard of the high priests didn't fail because he was a coward was actually very great man. And thirdly, Peter really love Jesus because that's the only reason he was Larry remember Mary in the garden afterwards. They're trying to do something with the body offering to take it away if you could only find where it was the only reason Mary was there because she loved Jesus he couldn't think of being separated from his side and that's what the motivation of Peter is as well is wanting to see the outcome but is not idle curiosity, saying to them; I'll never be able to live with myself. Unless I see this through to the end and circumstances under which it would leave in the column must have loved Jesus greatly, and yet he did fail failures a lesson not because Peter was the leader of the apostles to visit the Nicodemus we wouldn't be surprised at all because Nicodemus was afraid he came at night. He was very concerned about his reputation of this had been the rich young man, we wouldn't be surprised at all because the rich young man loves riches more than he loves salvation. So we went away sorrowful and Jesus sorry for them at this one of the many thousands of independent did Jesus teaching but had never come out openly, we wouldn't be surprised at all because the secret discipleship is no discipleship at all. This was a Nicodemus of the rich young man are one of the files halfway disciples was was Peter leader and he fell, and with very slight provocation he collapsed before the question of a mere servant girl. Peter could do it so can we not only can we we have. We do, we probably will do it again because we are not strong and is probably the strongest regarding the greatest danger. I why did he fall. This is an old story, of course, I suppose, millions of sermons over the course of the centuries have been preached on Peter's fall steps of this fall are obvious to anyone, takes time to look at the narrative essay will why should we do it again for the obvious reason because we don't learn from it. When a set about history.

The only thing we learn from history is we don't learn from history, we might say, as well, about the Bible. The only thing we really learn from stories like this is we don't learn or at least we don't learn very well… Look at what were the steps Peter's fall. First of all Peter did not believe Jesus warning worse. He contradicted contradicted them openly. Jesus had predicted. The failure of all the disciples. It even quoted from the Old Testament to show that it would happen from Zechariah 13 seven. I will strike the shepherd of the sheep will be scattered and said this very night you all fall away on account of me.

Peter had replied.

Even if all fall away on account of you. I never Jesus repeated his warning and even stronger terms is that I tell you the truth, is very night before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times, Peter came back with even if I have to die with you. I will never disown telling Jesus and Jesus was mistaken a foolish thing to do to save the only person who ever lived, was able to save and solve.

I am the way and the truth and the life. The only person who ever lived was never told a lie or never been mistaken.

Any small particular, you are mistaken about me was utter foolishness. Yet that's what Peter did why we so much like the answer of course is we don't really believe Jesus.

Jesus said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. He set apart from me you can do nothing but we think that nothing means a small something we want Jesus on how to take notice of that pay attention to us.

We say Jesus you tell the truth. Generally, but at this point at least one concerned you really didn't get it right. Only when we understand what Jesus says we stay close to room and look for direction when temptation concerts a second time. Peter not only told Jesus he was mistaken disbelieved that we also look down on the other disciples. Peter would probably have denied that they were together. The question came up about who was the greatest of the did you know because they were fighting over at one point Peter would probably have taken the high ground, but only course because he thought he really didn't have to defend his preeminent position, he would've said something like this is all in this together. Boys, after all, none of us are really awake. After all, didn't Jesus himself say the best were all unprofitable servants and I most unprofitable servant of all. He probably would've said something along that nature, but he didn't really believe it because deep in his heart he thought that he was the most upright, the most perceptive and the most courageous one is why when Jesus said to them, this very night you will all fall away unaccountably. Peter said even of all away on account of, you are never really meant when he looked around at the others. They seem pretty weak him. He could understand why Jesus might say that about the others but he imagined that he was stronger and more faithful. Money wasn't course and neither are we. Very easy for us to look at other Christians find some point at which we can judge ourselves to be stronger, better superior. Pat ourselves on the back, but were not stronger and there is no sin than any other believer is committed that we are not capable of committing up of the same circumstances. Doesn't look at us and find one of us to be superior to the other on 103 says he looks at us all, sees how we are formed and he remembers we are dust. There's 1/3 reason Peter had an inflated opinion of himself and goes along with the earlier error because the only reason we look down on others is that we think we are better Peter was saying.

Others may follow live but I'll never follow. Why not me, not Peter, but he did strong as he thought he was elected courageously earlier, but here he was actually quite weak, and his failure was even worse than that of the other disciples who fled the latest road they didn't actually deny Jesus as 1/4 reason Peter failed to pray.

True was in the middle of the night, hours after the sun had gone down.

It had been a hard day in prayer is difficult for us at any time. Jesus would've been tired to know that he got tired and got so tired of one occasion that he fell asleep in the back of the boat.

Certainly he was tired and besides she had urged Peter to pray the others to pray, watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. Set Peter and the others have been told to pray but they didn't. Peter didn't he follow sleep like the others of the didn't receive the strength through prayer that Jesus did and then he denied Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest reform your servants. How many of our failures.

Do you think, from our personal failures to pray. Remember what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians 1st Thessalonians 517, he wrote, pray continually one whole verse of the Bible is given over to just those two words pray continually we don't most of us pray at best only a few minutes daily and certainly don't do it in every circumstance of life and thought how much of Jesus teaching has to do with prayer for the study in itself. He told many stories about prairie told a story on one occasion about a man who had a neighbor come to them in the middle of the night he was position of having to host a neighbor, but he didn't have anything to offer them so we went to neighbor next door to get a loaf of bread or some food. Whatever he could defeat Evan according to Jesus story, the man gave it because he was persistent and because he was asking Jesus point is, that's what you have to do you have to ask. He concluded edits in Luke 11 ask and it will be given you seek and you will find knock on the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be open.

The only reason we don't pray is that were far from God that we don't believe actually likes to hear our prayers and answer them so much like Peter is 1/5 Peter thought he could be safe in bad company because that's where he was when he was in the courtyard of the high priest. These were not Jesus friends. As were his enemies with the people of Iraq do away with them if they possibly could.

Peter was in great danger when he was there. David is a person who knew the danger of being in bad company because he writes about it so often in the Psalms we read those words about enemies whose desire to keep from them and from our point of view because were so lax accepting of all kinds of things they sound self-righteous and judgmental and harsh with her anything of the sort reason. David pray so often forgot to keep them away from vile people and those who were evil is not because he thought he was better than they are because he realized how much he was like the money is to be very long and their company may be carried down by their evil and so we prayed again and again that God would separate them from those who do evil. He prayed in Psalm 139 search me oh God, and know my heart test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in million lead me in the way everlasting is what we need to be praying we need to be praying it all the time you want to lead a Christian life. You mustn't spend too much time with Jesus enemies the world of struggling to escape it entirely is where God has placed us to bear witness.

But the more your occupation or neighborhood or whatever it may be in your life by way of circumstances throws you together with evil people. The more time you would better spend also the conflict with those who love the Lord, because you need them and they need you. And that's what will strengthen your discipleship by 60 years ago, Clarence McCartney, who at that time was minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh little book on Peter and he drew two wise lessons from Peter's failure first and human nature.

Here he was talking about.

Even Christians nature.

There is a stubborn hostility to Christ of all that is of Christ and secondly, not only is there in my nature that which is hostile to Christ.

It makes war upon my better self which declares for Christ, but that so far as my own strength and skill are concerned that worst anti-Christian self will always get the victory to wise things to not remember Peter had been with Jesus.

Peter had just taken communion.

He was never stronger and he fell so will way unless Jesus prays for us, supports us and protects us from the devil, which, of course, is precisely what he did. Peter and Becky told Peter about it that very evening and said Peter Simon. Simon, Satan has asked to sift you like wheat right pray for you Simon, but your faith may not fail when you have turned black strengthen your brothers. You aware that Jesus is praying for you in order that you, as a Christian might persevere and be with him one day in glory. He has habits in John 17 that great high priestly prayer of our Lord. He makes clear in verse 20 that is praying not just for the immediate disciples, but for all who would believe on him. As a result of their testimony that includes you and me and he says in verse 24. Father, I want those you have given to me to be with me where I am to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you love me before the creation of the world again.

We also read of the book of Hebrews Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. It's true that other people pray for us. That's important. That's good. We value the prayers of other people, but they are just human beings like ourselves blasts. They are weak.

Also, pray and forget the pride I calmly go.

Eventually people who pray for us die. Mother is probably prayed for you if you had a Christian mother.

She is died. Only Jesus ever lives to make intercession for those belonging to him and does pray for us. This is the last story of Matthew about Peter peters mentioned again very last thing we read about them in verse 75 of this chapter is that he went outside and wept bitterly saying it's encouraging to. Because the only reason Peter was weeping is because he really loved Jesus and he was ashamed and aghast at what it is that he actually done the very fact that he was weeping and remorseful shows God, it actually been active in his life. He was truly converted. He really loved Jesus and he wanted to serve them and would be able to do it again. See what Jesus said to them was this set I prayed for you and when you're converted, strengthen your brother, Jesus did pray Peter was converted later he was used by God to strengthen other people. Remember that at Pentecost's very same Peter who had denied his Lord there in the presence of the servants of the high priest in Jerusalem that very city before the very same people stood up and proclaimed the Lord Jesus Christ forcefully and the Holy Spirit blessed that witness and 3000 people responded per se. Jesus did that with Peter he can do it with you do it with me needs to, and he will hope for all of us praise the Lord. Father, we bow before your now hungry while confessing. First of all we are exactly like Peter undoubtedly worse, something that he or any other Christian has done to deny you betray your name fail the stand that we have not.

Also Donald will do brass will do again and again all the things which Peter failed areas in which we also have failed. We don't really believe your we consider ourselves superior to other people. We look down on other Christians, we fail to prayer may hang around evaluating and praising those actually are the enemies of Jesus Christ asked forgiveness for those things. We also asked Grace to learn from them that we might grow increasingly strong. We thank you, even as we do that for Jesus Christ to remove seeds whose prayers are heard and answered on the basis of which those who are his own actually grow strong and stand even in terrible temptations and trials that help us to be like that by grace, by the power of your spirit. Jesus, you are listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

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