Let’s look at that event in Mark 14:27-30, “And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. 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.”  The Lord was with His disciples just prior to going to the cross to give Himself a sacrifice for our sins.  He warned them that the upcoming events would cause them to be offended (stumbled) because of Him.  Peter vehemently denied that he would be stumbled by the upcoming arrest, trial, and crucifixion of the Lord.

Peter greatly loved the Lord Jesus.  His heart was in the right place.  He had no intention of ever being offended because of the Lord.  However, he refused to listen to and believe the Lord in this instance.  He was more sure of himself that he was of the word of the Lord.  The Lord told him that not only would he be offended; he would deny that he knew the Lord three times before the morning comes.  Peter would not hear of that.  He said in verse 31, “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.”  I think we all know what happened next…Peter denied the Lord three times, just as the Lord had said. After Peter denied the Lord three times, we read in Matthew 26:75, “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”  His actions broke his heart.  He truly loved the Lord, but he depended upon his own strength instead of the Lord’s strength.

So, could Peter have prevented himself from denying the Lord and changed the course of the Lord’s prophesy?  We need to understand that the Lord did not compel Peter to deny him.  It was not His desire that Peter would deny Him.  But the Lord KNEW that Peter would deny Him. 

Let’s look at some of the characteristics of a prophet in the Bible in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, IF THE THING FOLLOW NOT, NOR COME TO PASS, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Jeremiah 28:9 states, “The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when THE WORD OF THE PROPHET SHALL COME TO PASS, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.” One true characteristic of a prophet who prophesied by the leading of the Lord was that his prophesies would always come true.

When the Lord told Peter “Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice”, He was speaking as a prophet.  Again, the Lord did not compel Peter to deny him, but He knew that he would.  If Peter was going to change his mind about denying the Lord, the Lord would have known that and would not have made the prophesy. 

Peter was devastated by his denial of the Lord he loved.  He was heartbroken.  Yet we read in Luke 24:33-34, “And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.”  From this, we understand that after His resurrection, the Lord had a private time with Peter (Simon).  It is generally acknowledged that this was Peter’s private restoration to the Lord.  Later, Peter had a public restoration when the Lord asked him three times if he loved Him in the presence of the disciples. (Read John 21:15-17).  How loving and patient is the Lord to make sure that Peter was restored after his failure.  (438.4)