The scene here is a very sober one.  The crucifixion was imminent.  The Lord had already sat with His disciples and instituted the remembrance feast, where using a loaf of bread and a cup of wine, He asked to be remembered by partaking of those emblems.  The Lord told His disciples of an Old Testament prophesy that would be fulfilled that very night.  Zechariah 13:7 had prophesied concerning Christ and His disciples, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”

At that point, Peter corrected the Lord, saying that he would never be offended because of Him. (Verse 39)  The Lord responded in Mark 14:30-31, “And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.”  Peter had always been a loyal follower of the Lord!  He loved the Lord, yet now the Lord is saying that Peter would not only deny Him, but he would deny Him three times before the sun rose in the morning.

Verses 32-65 speak of the Lord’s time in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas’ betrayal of the Lord, the Lord’s capture, and His time before the High Priest.

Mark 14:66-72 tells us, “And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I KNOW NOT, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. And HE DENIED IT AGAIN. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I KNOW NOT THIS MAN of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.”  Peter had indeed denied the Lord three times.  He recalled the words of the Lord.  He was heartbroken and began to cry.  How could he do such a thing?  He loved the Lord greatly and was sure he would never deny Him.  Yet he did.

The Lord surely knew Peter’s heart more than Peter did.  Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  It is the Lord who knows the heart as we see in Jeremiah 17:10, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”  Peter did indeed love the Lord, but his confidence was in himself.  He thought he was strong enough to be faithful, even after the Lord told him that he would deny Him.  He thought the Lord was wrong!  My friends, may our faith and confidence be in the Lord and not ourselves.  Peter learned just how weak he was.  He also learned that the Lord knows all things.

Before we end, we need to consider Luke 22:31-32, “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”” (NKJV)  Here in Luke, we see the Lord warning Peter about his upcoming denial.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that even before Peter denied Him, the Lord had already begun praying for him?  In these two verses, the Lord not only speaks of Peter’s denial, but He also speaks of Peter’s restoration to Himself.  He did not say “IF you return to me”.  No, the one who knows all things said to Peter “WHEN you have returned to Me strengthen your brethren.”  The Lord went on to use Peter greatly.  May we also learn that, even if we fail the Lord, we can be restored to Him, (1 John 1:9) and still be a useful servant to Him.  (205.8)