Matthew Lesson 27 Day 4
10. a. Peter denies Jesus
Peter is fearful when the crowd arrives to arrest Jesus.
Peter reacts in his own strength. He reaches for his sword and cuts off Malchus’ ear. He was probably aiming to cut off his head, but Malchus saw it coming.
Peter is reprimanded by Jesus for relying on the arm of flesh.
Peter, along with the other disciples, deserted Jesus when He was arrested.
Peter followed at a distance, and then sat down with the guards.
A servant girl recognized Peter, but he said he didn’t know what she was talking about.
Another servant girl recognized him, and he again denied it, swearing an oath.
Others recognized him and confronted him. This time, he not only denied it, but he also called down curses.
“When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.” Ephesians 4:26 AMPC
I think this verse also applies to any emotion that leads to sin: lust, greed, jealousy, hatred, fear, worry, etc. By allowing these emotional seeds to remain, we give an opportunity to the devil.
11. Judas comes to his senses.
a. Judas experienced remorse.
When Judas realized that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
Before Judas went to the chief priests to make a deal, Luke writes “Satan entered into Judas.” Luke 22:3 I believe Judas experienced remorse because Satan left him when the evil mission was complete.
By throwing the money into the temple (the “naos, properly the inner sanctuary, where only the priests were allowed to go” according to France), Judas wanted to implicate the priests in his crime. It was his way of saying, “You also are guilty of this.” (Enduring Word Commentary)(1)
Judas was sorry for what he did, but most Bible scholars say that his sorrow did not lead to repentance. I think he hang himself because he believed his sin was unforgivable and/or he couldn’t face the other disciples and followers of Jesus. I don’t think there is any way to be sure he didn’t repent.
b. The chief priests showed no remorse.
They told Judas, “That’s your problem, not ours.” They showed no remorse proving what Jesus said about them—
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. Matthew 23:27
c. Acts 2:23
“this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”
The plan was known in heaven long before Judas participated. “He was known before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in the last times for your sake.” 1 Peter 1:20
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
People have free will, and God knows the choices we will make. I suppose we could say Judas was predestined to conspire with and later incriminate the Sanhedrin.
Satan was allowed to enter Judas and to sift Peter (and all the disciples*) like wheat (Luke 22:31). But Jesus prayed for him, all of his disciples, and for us. God allows our faith to be tested to strengthen us.
It’s still hard for me to comprehend the big picture of how or why someone committing an evil act fulfills God’s plan.
*the world translated you is plural in the Greek.
12. a. Compare/contrast Peter and Judas—
When Jesus revealed Judas as His betrayer, Judas did not deny it. When Jesus said, “What you are going to do, do more swiftly than you seem to intend and make quick work of it.” Judas got up from the table and left. John 13:21-30 AMP
Judas was a hypocrite who cared more about money and only pretended to care about the poor. John 12:6
Judas was a thief. He had been stealing from the treasury for a long time. John 12:6
Satan entered into Judas. Luke 22:3
Judas’ final betrayal of Jesus was premeditated, initiated by him, and planned. Luke 22:3-6
Judas’ plotting and his betrayal kiss displayed hatred.
Judas’ “remorse leads to terminal despair.” The IVP New Testament Commentary Series
Simon Peter’s motivation—Fear
Prior to Peter’s offense, Jesus said to Peter, “You are clean, but not all of you.” John 13:10
Peter had the heart to please Jesus. However, he did not know his own areas of weakness.
When Peter said, “I will lay down my life for You,” Jesus told Peter “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me [completely disown Me] three times.” John 13:38 AMP
Peter again asserted his loyalty even to the point of death.
He initially ran with the others but followed and observed with other onlookers.
Peter three times adamantly denied being one of Jesus’ followers.
When the rooster crowed, as Jesus had prophesied, …
Peter was shattered, not by sickness or punishment, but by the words of Jesus.
There is no way we can fully grasp what Peter suffered here, but we can see that he never did this again. Christian tradition records that Peter suffered martyrdom by crucifixion in Rome. He didn’t flinch that time. He even asked to be crucified upside down because he was not worthy to be crucified in the same position that Jesus was crucified in. Our greatest failures can lead to our greatest strengths if we respond properly. Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
Peter was genuinely ashamed, repentant, forgiven, and restored. His destiny was unchanged. Matthew 26:75 says Peter “went outside and wept bitterly.”
On the day of Pentecost, Peter who previously denied Christ, now boldly proclaimed the good news to the crowd of Jews from every country. The Christian church was founded on Peter as Jesus prophesied. Peter fulfilled his destiny.
Peter’s conduct here is a dramatic contrast with his boldness on the Day of Pentecost and this once again illustrates the difference that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit makes.
Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
Perhaps Judas was only sorry because he was embarrassed after his deed was known. Perhaps he expected to come out looking like a hero to the Sanhedrin.
But Judas was not accepted by them or by the disciples. He hadn’t been truly one of them for quite some time. His behavior is like that of someone who became offended along the way.
Perhaps Judas was afraid of judgment. In any of these cases, his motive was selfish.
It doesn’t appear he made any attempt to repent or reconcile with the other disciples, but there is no way to know what he did in his final moments.
Peter, on the other hand, believed Jesus was the Son of God. He was zealous but rough around the edges. He was wholeheartedly repentant when he realized his failure. He went on to bear much good fruit for the kingdom of God.
It doesn’t seem to me that Judas believed Jesus was the Son of God. He called Jesus teacher or rabbi. He seemed to be an opportunist who hoped Jesus would lead a rebellion and come into power. Jesus is the only way to the Father. By rejecting Jesus (Judas left prior to Jesus serving the wine which represented His blood) Judas died in his sin.
Questioning Jesus and Peter
Jesus—The religious leaders questioned Jesus to find any reason to incriminate Him. The verdict had already been predetermined.
The false witnesses couldn’t agree.
Finally, two witnesses twisted Jesus’ words saying He was able to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. Jesus didn’t answer or defend Himself.
Then He asked Jesus to tell them if He was the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus answered in the affirmative and then quoted the passage in Daniel.
Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews. Jesus again answered in the affirmative.
Jesus did not respond to any other questions.
Peter wasn’t asked questions.—He was confronted by two different girls who recognized him as one who was with Jesus. He denied it both times. He did not respond to the other accusations and questions.
Third several others said, “surely you are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”
So Peter denied he knew Jesus.
Jesus affirmed that He was the Christ, the Son of God and the King of the Jews.
b. Don’t give in to temptation.
(Answer from 2014 lesson)
I remember a Jack Hayford teaching recorded at a minister’s conference many years ago. The personal story he shared was one of the best examples of the path to sin I’ve heard. He was transparent enough to share this event from his own life.
He said there was an attractive woman working in their church office who was very kind and helpful. She seemed especially in tune with his needs as she helped him with a special project. He goes on to mention details that occurred over a period of time.
He began to realize he was thinking about her more often. He also noticed he looked forward to seeing her.
Thankfully, he had a good marriage. As soon as he realized his thinking was heading in a dangerous direction, he confessed it to his wife. His confession nipped the temptation in the bud.
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1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
3 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
4 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
5 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
6 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
7 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.
8 Andrew Wommack Living Commentary used by written permission
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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 27 Day 4