Matthew 26:69
Meanwhile, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came up to him. "You also were with Jesus the Galilean," she said.
Occasional Relapse Compatible with Spiritual AdvanceDean Goulburn.Matthew 26:69-75
Peter and JudasJ. W. Mays, M. A.Matthew 26:69-75
Peter's Denial of JesusMarcus Dods Matthew 26:69-75
Peter's RecoveryF. Skerry.Matthew 26:69-75
Peter's RepentanceW. D. Herwood.Matthew 26:69-75
Sin in SequenceJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 26:69-75
Skill Required to Keep Up a LieF. Jacox.Matthew 26:69-75
St. Peter Denying His LordW.F. Adeney Matthew 26:69-75
Telling a Lie a Big TaskDean Swift.Matthew 26:69-75
The Denying DiscipleDr. Bonar.Matthew 26:69-75
The Fall of PeterA. Barnes, D. D.Matthew 26:69-75
The Old Nature Reasserting ItselfH. Bonar, D. D.Matthew 26:69-75

It says much for the veracity of the Gospel narratives that the evangelists have not shrunk from recording an incident which is to the shame of the chief of the apostles. And yet we may be sure that the charity which covers a multitude of sins would have buried this sad story in eternal oblivion if it had not been full of important lessons for all ages. These things are not written for Peter's shame, but for our instruction. No doubt the first record of the story was derived from the confession of the penitent apostle's own lips.

I. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ONE WHO LOVES CHRIST TO DENY HIM. In the case of Judas we have seen that knowledge does not prevent treason; here we see that love does not secure one against the weakness of denial. The disciple betrayed his great Teacher, the friend denied his beloved Saviour. The offences were utterly different. Yet St. Peter's is distressing because it overcame the loyalty of love. The emotional and impetuous are in an especial danger of lulling before sudden temptations.

II. SELF-CONFIDENCE INVITES TEMPTATION. We pray, "Lead us not into temptation." Yet St. Peter boldly walked into it. His love for his Master kept him near to Jesus. While almost all the rest of the disciples - all but St. John - had fled, Peter hung on to the outskirts of the procession as Jesus was carried off under arrest to Jerusalem. For this we admire him. He was braver than the apostles who had not a chance of denying their Lord, because they had escaped from the dangerous scenes. It is not just, therefore, to say that he wilfully put himself in the way of danger. But if his heart drew him near to Christ, his humility and self-distrust should have warned him to be on his guard. Our loyalty to Christ may call us into difficult places; but then we should recognize that they are difficult, and pray for grace that we may walk circumspectly in them.

III. COURAGE IN EXCITING DANGERS IS OFTEN FOLLOWED BY COWARDICE UNDER QUIETER CIRCUMSTANCES. in the garden St. Peter was brave as a]ion, slashing at the high priest's servant with his sword. In the palace courtyard he cowers before a waiting maid's joke. It is a great man's house, and St. Peter is an uncouth fisherman; Christ has been seized, and his cause is apparently lost; the watch is long, the night chill, the disciple weary. All these things tend to undermine courage. But it is among such circumstances that we most need to be on our guard. Then there is no excitement of the battle to sustain us. In the hour of depression our danger is great.

IV. ONE FALL LEADS TO ANOTHER. If St. Peter can deny his Master once, it is not at all wonderful that he should deny him thrice. The descent to evil is an inclined plane, which grows steeper as we proceed along it. Therefore it is most needful to resist the tempter at his first onslaught. Like St. Peter, Christ was thrice attacked by the tempter. But unlike his servant, he worsted the foe at the first attack, and met him with the added strength of victory at the subsequent assaults.

V. THE TRUE CHRISTIAN WILL REPENT OF HIS UNFAITHFULNESS. The crowing cock reminds St. Peter of his Master's warning. Then his repentance is sudden and bitter. Christ's servant cannot sin without suffering. But his tears are healing. Though he fall, he shall rise again. - W.F.A.

Now Peter sat without in the palace.
One of the most melancholy instances of depravity ever committed. But a little while before so confident, seated at the table of the Lord, etc. Draw from it important practical uses.

I. The danger of self-confidence — "Let him that thinketh," etc. Rely on God for strength.

II. The highest favours, the most exalted privileges, do not secure us from the danger of falling into sin.

III. When a man begins to sin his fall from one act to another is easy, perhaps almost certain. The downward road of crime is easy.

IV. True repentance is deep, thorough, bitter.

V. A look from Jesus — a look of mingled affection, pity, and reproof — produces bitter sorrow for sin. Him we injure by our crimes, etc.

VI. When we fall into temptation, let us seek the place of solitude, and pour out our sorrows before God.

VII. Real Christians may be suffered to go far astray. To show them their weakness, etc.

VIII. Yet though a Christian may be suffered to go astray, yet he who should, from this example of Peter, think he might law. fully do it, or who should resolve to do it, thinking that he might, like Peter, weep and repent, would give evidence that he knew nothing of the grace of God.

(A. Barnes, D. D.)

Let us lay to heart some of the most important lessons of this subject.

I. Let no Christian rely on his disposition or feeling for safety from falling.

II. Let no Christian rely upon his past conduct as a safeguard.

III. Let no Christian presume to trust in conscience to keep him right in the hour of danger.

IV. Learn to realize the bitter memory of good words which came too late.

(F. Skerry.)


1. Fear.

2. Self-confidence.

II. THE REPENTANCE OF ST. PETER The compassionatism of the Man of Sorrows. He looked upon Peter. Memory acts in cases of repentance.

(W. D. Herwood.)

I. Peter's sorrow arose from a sense of the guilt of his conduct, but Judas' from a perception of the consequences of his conduct.

II. Peter's sorrow was full of hope, but Judas' was full of despair.

III. Peter's sorrow drove him nearer to God, but Judas' drove him further from God.

IV. Peter's sorrow developed his Christian manhood, but Judas' became an element of sharp retribution. Repent or perish.

(J. W. Mays, M. A.)

I. Who? Peter, the confessor of the Christ of God, etc.

II. Whom?

III. What?

IV. When?

V. Where?

VI. How? Three times, after being warned, through fear of a woman: etc.

(Dr. Bonar.)

A Spanish proverb declares that " for an honest man half his wits is enough, while the whole are too little for a knave; " the ways, that is, as Archbishop Trench expounds the adage, of truth and uprightness, are so simple and plain, that a little wit is abundantly sufficient for those who walk in them; whereas the ways of falsehood and fraud are so perplexed and tangled, that sooner or later all the wit of the cleverest rogue will not preserve him from being entangled therein — a truth often wonderfully confirmed in the lives of evil men.

(F. Jacox.)

He who tells a lie is not sensible how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one.

(Dean Swift.)

As an illustration of this law in the kingdom of grace, consider the movement of the tide, when it is coming in. It is movement upon the whole. The water is sure to cover that dry beach in two or three hours' time, and to float that stranded sea-weed; but it is not a movement without relapses. Each wave, I suppose, gains a little ground, but each wave falls back as soon as it has plashed upon the shore. Even so in the Christian life, there may be a forward movement on the whole, consistently with many relapses, though this assertion requires to be guarded by the observation that the relapses must be such as proceed from infirmity, and not from malice prepense. Deliberate, habitual sin cannot possibly consist with spiritual growth; but the shaking of a man's steadfastness by a sudden tornado of temptation (which was St. Peter's case) may do so. The great question is whether, after each such fall, the will recovers its spring and elasticity, and makes a fresh start with new and more fervent prayers and resolve. Indeed the making many fresh starts after relapses of infirmity is a hopeful sign of growth. In order to any great attainment in spiritual life, there must be an indomitable resolve to try and try again, and still to begin anew amidst much failure and discouragement. On warm, dewy mornings in the spring, vegetation makes a shoot; and when we rise and throw open the window, we mark that the may is blossoming in the hedgerows. And those periods when a man can say, "I lost myself sadly yesterday in temper or in talk, but I know that my crucified Lord took upon Him those sins and answered for them, and to-day I will earnestly strive against them in the strength of His Spirit invoked into my soul by earnest prayer;" these are warm, dewy mornings of the soul, when the spiritual life within us sprouts and blossoms apace.

(Dean Goulburn.)

The old fisherman of Galilee, it would seem, in days gone by, had been a man who used strong language. Since He had been a disciple of Christ he had learned to control his language. Three years' intercourse with Christ had done much for him, but it had not done all. The " old man" was still alive and strong." The "new man " was very weak in Peter just at this time. The " old man "had risen up against the " new man." The old nature in Peter was fighting against the Christ that was within him; and if the Lord had not just at that worst moment turned and looked upon Peter, the issue might have been more disastrous than it was. Then Peter saw what he had done — he had been stabbing his Master to the very heart — driving a nail into His cross, and piercing Him with another spear!

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

Caiaphas, Jesus, Judas, Peter, Simon, Zabdi, Zebedee
Bethany, Galilee, Gethsemane, Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Nazareth
Court, Courtyard, Damsel, Galilaean, Galilean, Galilee, Girl, Maid, Maidservants, Meanwhile, Open, Outside, Palace, Palace-court, Peter, Sat, Saying, Seated, Servant, Servant-girl, Sitting, Square, Wast
1. Jesus foretells his own death.
3. The rulers conspire against him.
6. The woman anoints his feet.
14. Judas bargains to betray him.
17. Jesus eats the Passover;
26. institutes his holy supper;
30. foretells the desertion of his disciples, and Peter's denial;
36. prays in the garden;
47. and being betrayed by a kiss,
57. is carried to Caiaphas,
69. and denied by Peter.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 26:69

     5271   courtyard

Matthew 26:59-75

     2060   Christ, patience of
     5879   humiliation

Matthew 26:63-75

     8712   denial of Christ

Matthew 26:69-74

     5819   cowardice

Matthew 26:69-75

     5113   Peter, disciple
     5714   men
     6249   temptation, universal
     8712   denial of Christ

January 9. "Not as I Will, but as Thou Wilt" (Matt. xxvi. 39).
"Not as I will, but as Thou wilt" (Matt. xxvi. 39). "To will and do of His good pleasure" (Phil. ii. 13). There are two attitudes in which our will should be given to God. First. We should have the surrendered will. This is where we must all begin, by yielding up to God our natural will, and having Him possess it. But next, He wants us to have the victorious will. As soon as He receives our will in honest surrender, He wants to put His will into it and make it stronger than ever for Him. It is henceforth
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

November 29. "Could Ye not Watch with Me one Hour?" (Matt. xxvi. 40. )
"Could ye not watch with Me one hour?" (Matt. xxvi. 40.) A young lady whose parents had died while she was an infant, had been kindly cared for by a dear friend of the family. Before she was old enough to know him, he went to Europe. Regularly he wrote to her through all his years of absence, and never failed to send her money for all her wants. Finally word came that during a certain week he would return and visit her. He did not fix the day or the hour. She received several invitations to take
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

January 3. "Watch and Pray" (Matt. xxvi. 41).
"Watch and pray" (Matt. xxvi. 41). We need to watch for prayers as well as for the answers to our prayers. It needs as much wisdom to pray rightly as it does faith to receive the answers to our prayers. We met a friend the other day, who had been in years of darkness because God had failed to answer certain prayers, and the result had been a state bordering on infidelity. A very few moments were sufficient to convince this friend that these prayers had been entirely unauthorized, and that God had
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

'Until that Day'
'I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.'--MATT. xxvi. 29. This remarkable saying of our Lord's is recorded in all of the accounts of the institution of the Lord's Supper. The thought embodied in it ought to be present in the minds of all who partake of that rite. It converts what is primarily a memorial into a prophecy. It bids us hope as well as, and because we, remember. The light behind us is cast forward on to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Last Pleading of Love
'And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come?'--MATT. xxvi. 50. We are accustomed to think of the betrayer of our Lord as a kind of monster, whose crime is so mysterious in its atrocity as to put him beyond the pale of human sympathy. The awful picture which the great Italian poet draws of him as alone in hell, shunned even there, as guilty beyond all others, expresses the general feeling about him. And even the attempts which have been made to diminish the greatness of his guilt, by
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jesus Charged with Blasphemy
'Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses?'--MATT. xxvi. 65. Jesus was tried and condemned by two tribunals, the Jewish ecclesiastical and the Roman civil. In each case the charge corresponded to the Court. The Sanhedrin took no cognisance of, and had no concern with, rebellion against Caesar; though for the time they pretended loyalty. Pilate had still less concern about Jewish superstitions. And so the investigation in each
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Passover
'Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the passover? 18. And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with My disciples. 19. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. 20. Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve. 21. And as they did eat, He said,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

'This Cup'
'And Jesus took the cup, and grave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28. For this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins'--MATT. xxvi. 27, 28. The comparative silence of our Lord as to the sacrificial character of His death has very often been urged as a reason for doubting that doctrine, and for regarding it as no part of the original Christian teaching. That silence may be accounted for by sufficient reasons. It has been very much
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Gethsemane, the Oil-Press
'Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38. Then saith He unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me. 39. And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Real High Priest and his Counterfeit
'And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58. But Peter followed Him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death; 60. But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61. And said,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Defence of Uncalculating Love
'Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7. There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head, as He sat at meat. 8. But when His disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9. For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10. When Jesus understood it, He said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon Me. 11. For ye have the poor
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Power of Prayer in Relation to Outward Circumstances.
TEXT: MATT. xxvi. 36-46. TO be a religious man and to pray are really one and the same thing. To join the thought of God with every thought of any importance that occurs to us; in all our admiration of external nature, to regard it as the work of His wisdom; to take counsel with God about all our plans, that we may be able to carry them out in His name; and even in our most mirthful hours to remember His all-seeing eye; this is the prayer without ceasing to which we are called, and which is really
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

An Awful Contrast
"Then did they spit in his face."--Matthew 26:67. "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away."--Revelation 20:11. GUIDED BY OUR TEXT in Matthew's Gospel, let us first go in thought to the palace of Caiaphas the high priest, and there let us, in deepest sorrow, realize the meaning of these terrible words: "Then did they spit in his face." There is more of deep and awful thunder in them than in the bolt that bursts overhead, there is
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 42: 1896

A Woman's Memorial
And now my prayer is that we may be endued this morning with the same spirit as that which prompted the woman, when she broke her alabaster box upon the head of Christ. There must be something wonderful about this story, or else Christ would not have linked it with his gospel, for so hath he done. So long as this gospel lives shall this story of the woman be told; and when this story of the woman ceaseth to exist, then the gospel must cease to exist also, for they are co-eternal. As long as this
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 6: 1860

Sunday Next Before Easter.
What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. These words, we cannot doubt, have an application to ourselves, and to all Christians, far beyond the particular occasion on which they were actually spoken. They are, in fact, the words which Christ addresses daily to all of us. Every day, when he sees how often we have gone astray from him, he repeats to us, Could ye not watch with me one hour? Every
Thomas Arnold—The Christian Life

"For they that are after the Flesh do Mind the Things of the Flesh,",
Rom. viii. 5.--"For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh,", &c. Though sin hath taken up the principal and inmost cabinet of the heart of man--though it hath fixed its imperial throne in the spirit of man, and makes use of all the powers and faculties in the soul to accomplish its accursed desires and fulfil its boundless lusts, yet it is not without good reason expressed in scripture, ordinarily under the name of "flesh," and a "body of death," and men dead in sins, are
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Wyclif -- Christ's Real Body not in the Eucharist
John Wyclif, eminent as scholar, preacher, and translator, was born in 1324 in Spresswel, near Richmond, Yorkshire, England. Known as the "Morning Star of the Reformation" he was a vigorous and argumentative speaker, exemplifying his own definition of preaching as something which should be "apt, apparent, full of true feeling, fearless in rebuking sins, and so addrest to the heart as to enlighten the spirit and subdue the will." On these lines he organized a band of Bible preachers who worked largely
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

That Man must not be Immersed in Business
"My Son, always commit thy cause to Me; I will dispose it aright in due time. Wait for My arrangement of it, and then thou shalt find it for thy profit." 2. O Lord, right freely I commit all things to Thee; for my planning can profit but little. Oh that I did not dwell so much on future events, but could offer myself altogether to Thy pleasures without delay. 3. "My Son, a man often striveth vehemently after somewhat which he desireth; but when he hath obtained it he beginneth to be of another
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Jesus Predicts, the Rulers Plot For, and Judas Bargains for his Death.
(Mount of Olives, Bethany, and Jerusalem. Tuesday After Sunset, Which Jews Regarded as the Beginning of Wednesday.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 1-5, 14-16; ^B Mark XIV. 1, 2, 10, 11; ^C Luke XXII. 1-6. ^c 1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. { ^b 1 Now after two days was the feast of the passover and the unleavened bread:} ^a 1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these words, he said unto his disciples, 2 Ye know that after two days the passover cometh, and
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Preparation for Passover. Disciples Contend for Precedence.
(Bethany to Jerusalem. Thursday Afternoon and, After Sunset, Beginning of Friday.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 17-20; ^B Mark XIV. 12-17; ^C Luke XXII. 7-18, 24-30. ^c 7 And the day of unleavened bread came, on which the passover must be sacrificed. [See p. 57. Leaven was to the Jew a symbol of corruption and impurity, because it causes bread to become stale. The feast of unleavened bread began properly on the fifteenth of Nisan, and lasted seven days, but this was the fourteenth Nisan, the day on which the paschal
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Judas' Betrayal and Peter's Denial Foretold.
(Jerusalem. Evening Before the Crucifixion.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 21-25, 31-35; ^B Mark XIV. 18-21, 27-31; ^C Luke XXII. 21-23, 31-38; ^D John XIII. 21-38. ^b 18 And ^d 21 When Jesus had thus said, ^b as they sat and were eating, ^d he was troubled in the spirit, and ^b Jesus ^d testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. ^b even he that eateth with me. ^c 21 But behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. [The foreknowledge of Judas' crime
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Lord's Supper Instituted.
(Jerusalem. Evening Before the Crucifixion.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 26-29; ^B Mark XIV. 22-25; ^C Luke XXII. 19, 20; ^F I. Cor. XI. 23-26. ^a 26 And as they were eating, ^f the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, { ^b blessed,} ^f he brake it, ^a and he gave to the disciples, and said, ^b Take ye: ^a Take, eat; this is my body. ^f which is ^c given ^f for you: this do in remembrance of me. [As only unleavened bread was eaten during the paschal supper,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Betrayed, Arrested, and Forsaken.
(Gethsemane. Friday, Several Hours Before Dawn.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 47-56; ^B Mark XIV. 43-52; ^C Luke XXII. 47-53; ^D John XVIII. 2-11. ^d 2 Now Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. [See p. 583.] 3 Judas then, having received the band of soldiers, and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. ^b 43 And straightway, while he yet spake, ^a lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Second Stage of Jewish Trial. Jesus Condemned by Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin.
(Palace of Caiaphas. Friday.) ^A Matt. XXVI. 57, 59-68; ^B Mark XIV. 53, 55-65; ^C Luke XXII. 54, 63-65; ^D John XVIII. 24. ^d 24 Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. [Foiled in his attempted examination of Jesus, Annas sends him to trial.] ^b and there come together with him all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. ^a 57 And they that had taken Jesus led him away to the house of Caiaphas the high priest, ^c and brought him into the high priest's house. ^a where
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

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