Luke 22:54-71 (NIV)
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance.
55 But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.”
57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.
58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.”
60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.
61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.”
62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him.
64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?”
65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
67 “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me,
68 and if I asked you, you would not answer.
69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”
71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
Weakness and Fear Led Peter to Deny Jesus
Peter’s denial was based on weakness and fear. After the Last Supper, Jesus took the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to await His arrest. There Jesus told them to be alert and prayerfully while He went off to pray by Himself. When Jesus returned to them, He found the disciples sleeping. Jesus warned Peter to stay awake and pray because the spirit was willing, and the flesh was weak.
Peter, despite this warning, fell asleep, and by the time the soldiers had come to arrest Jesus, it was too late to pray for the strength to endure the trial ahead. Later, after Peter was restored, he urged Christians to be alert in 1 Peter 5:8. Peter’s weakness caused him to be devoured temporarily as he denied the Lord three times because he wasn’t prepared in prayer and underestimated the extent of his weakness.
Peter’s weakness wasn’t only not praying; he was fearful. Even though all the other disciples fled (Mark 14:50) to his credit, Peter still followed Jesus after his arrest, at a distance (Mark 14:54). From the courtyard, Peter watched Jesus being falsely accused, beaten, and insulted (Mark 14:57-66). Peter was afraid Jesus would die, and now he was fearful for his life. Peter quickly would learn he was not as courageous nor as bold as he had proclaimed, and he denied Jesus three times.
Jesus revealed to Peter that Satan had asked for permission to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:32). Jesus could have easily protected Peter and not allowed Satan to sift him, but the Lord Jesus wanted to equip Peter to strengthen the disciples of the Lord (Luke 22:32). Not only did Peter strengthen the other disciples of Jesus, but he became the pillar of the early church and trained others to follow Jesus (Acts 2). (christianity