They seized him, and led him away, and brought him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed from a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard, and had sat down together, Peter sat among them. A certain servant girl saw him as he sat in the light, and looking intently at him, said, “This man also was with him.”
He denied Jesus, saying, “Woman, I don’t know him.”
After a little while someone else saw him, and said, “You also are one of them!”
But Peter answered, “Man, I am not!”
After about one hour passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Truly this man also was with him, for he is a Galilean!”
But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned, and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the Lord’s word, how he said to him, “Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times.” He went out, and wept bitterly.
We already know that Jesus was expecting this to happen and like everything that God says it was true. No matter how hard we try to be good, we will always fail in the end. Just like we cannot think of ourselves as better than Peter, Gentiles should never think of themselves as better than the Jews. The Jews were not any worse than anyone else in the world. The difference was that the Jews had the law and when they attempted to follow it they failed. Any other group of people would have done the same. The same thing goes with us and Peter. Peter was put to an extreme test before the Holy Spirit was given and He failed.
I believe that one thing this event demonstrates is that we cannot defend Christ in a sense that we could bring anything to Him that He has not already given to us. He doesn’t need us, we need Him and when He is in us He is defending Himself through us. If we try to do good works on our own we will ultimately fail. Peter thought he could defend Jesus but He couldn’t even stand strong enough to keep from lying to a servant girl. We don’t have strength in ourselves to do anything but protect our own selves. Obviously, Jesus was not a mere man because He was doing the opposite of Peter and standing up for us with His life.
We don’t know how Jesus looked at Peter, but I believe He looked at Him with mercy. I believe when He looked at Peter He looked in such a way as to say, “Peter, I’m dying for your sin right now.” Peter could have decided to hang himself or decide that he was not fit to be a disciple. Jesus told him earlier that Satan wanted him, but Jesus prayed for him. When it happened Peter was broken and realized he would receive forgiveness. Isn’t that how it was with us when we realized our sin and believed in Jesus for our salvation?