What Jesus Did! 'An Oath of Betrayal' — Mark 14:70-72

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Again Peter said that it was not true. A short time later, some people were standing near Peter. The people said, "We know you are one of those people that followed Jesus. You are from Galilee, the same as Jesus." Then Peter began to curse. He said strongly, "I promise to God that I don't know this man you are talking about!" After Peter said this, the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered what Jesus told him: "Before the rooster crows twice, you will say three times that you don't know me." Then Peter was very sad and began to cry.
— Mark 14:70-72
Illustration of Mark 14:70-72 — "Before the rooster crows twice, you will say three times that you don't know me."

Key Thought

Peter swore that he didn't know Jesus. Then he heard the rooster crow and he realized the bitter truth. Not once... not twice... but three times he denied his Lord. The third time he even cursed and used an oath to deny Jesus. How could he have done it? How could he have slipped so far? Only minutes earlier he had been willing to draw a sword and take on the armed group that had come to arrest Jesus. Where had his courage, his conviction, and his commitment gone? We must realize that none of us is strong enough to guarantee we won't fail or abandon our Lord at times. However, the test we face involves two parts. The first part is the pressure to sin. If we yield to that temptation and sin, the second is to have the courage to recognize it as sin, be convicted to the core of our hearts of that sin, and to change our hearts and behavior to return to our deeply held allegiance to the Lord.

Today's Prayer

O Father, give me courage. I want to demonstrate my allegiance to you, your Son, and your Kingdom no matter what my outward circumstances and pressures may bring. But, dear Father, if I fail and sin, please help me to have the courage to recognize it, to be emotionally convicted by it, and to be spiritually committed to come home and show that it was an exception to a life lived wholly for you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

At that time, Peter was still in the yard. A servant girl of the high priest came to Peter. The girl saw Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked closely at Peter. Then the girl said, "You were with Jesus, that man from Nazareth." But Peter said that he was never with Jesus. He said, "I don't know or understand what you are talking about." Then Peter left and went to the entrance of the yard. The servant girl saw Peter there. Again the girl said to the people who were standing there, "This man is one of those people {that followed Jesus}." Again Peter said that it was not true. A short time later, some people were standing near Peter. The people said, "We know you are one of those people {that followed Jesus}. You are from Galilee, {the same as Jesus}." Then Peter began to curse. He said strongly, "I promise to God that I don't know this man you are talking about!" After Peter said this, the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered what Jesus told him: "Before the rooster crows twice, you will say three times that you don't know me." Then Peter was very sad and began to cry.

Mark 14:66-72

Related Scripture Readings

"Satan (the devil) has asked to test you men like a farmer tests his wheat. O Simon, Simon (Peter), I have prayed that you will not lose your faith! Help your brothers be stronger when you come back to me."

Luke 22:31-32

When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these {other men love me}?" Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Then Jesus said to Peter, "Take care of my lambs. " Again Jesus said to Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Then Jesus said to Peter, "Take care of my sheep. " A third time Jesus said, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was sad because Jesus asked him three times, "Do you love me?" Peter said, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you!" Jesus said to Peter, "Take care of my sheep. I tell you the truth. When you were young, you tied your own belt and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands and another person will tie you. That person will lead you where you don't want to go." (Jesus said this to show how Peter would die to give glory to God.) Then Jesus said to Peter, "Follow me!"

John 21:15-19

Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right. But your body is weak."

Mark 14:38

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.