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peter the apostle

Peter Denies Knowing & Following Jesus Three Times — From The Garden To The Cross Discussion

Welcome to another special edition of the Share Life podcast. We're in an ongoing series, as part of the discovery process for my next book project, From The Garden to the Cross: How Jesus' Harrowing Mission Shows Us The Way Forward. In this discussion episode, part 4, we're reflecting on Peter's Denial of Jesus while Jesus is being interrogated by the religious leaders after Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested, and hours after Jesus' agonizing moment of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In this conversation about the passage describing Peter's denial of Jesus, we'll first read and discuss my harmonization of the story from the different accounts of Jesus' life with quotes from the New Living Translation of the Bible. Then, we'll explore the story through the following questions: What we can learn about Jesus, humanity, and ourselves from this monumental moment in time? How does this event apply to our lives today? This particular moment begins soon after Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. Peter is watching the interrogated Jesus in the courtyard from a distance.

Some of the highlights from our discussion include:
  • The humanity of Peter and how similar we are to him.
  • The loneliness dynamic for both Peter and Jesus.
  • How our ignorance and arrogance inform our words and actions.
  • How we all have a Peter Point where we cave to the pressure of circumstances.
  • Fighting and dying versus living and suffering.
  • Aspirational hypocrisy and the failures that follow.
  • Expectations versus reality and how to reconcile the two dynamics.
  • The difference between physical and moral courage.
  • How the disciples live out their life of faith and failure publicly.
  • How we think if we were there with Jesus, we'd be or operate differently.

Fellow Conversation Participants

Today I'm joined by Addison, Allen, and Jim.

Listen to the Discussion

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You can also find this discussion on Stitcher, Itunes, and wherever you listen to podcasts under the name, Share Life: Systems and Stories to Live Better & Work Smarter.

Watch The Conversation

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My Harmonized Account of the Denial Scene For Reference & Study — An Excerpt From The Book

Mark 14:53-72 | Matthew 26:69-75 | Luke  22:54-62 | John 18:15-18,  25-27

Two of the disciples, including Simon Peter and John, followed Jesus. John, known by the Chief Priest, was allowed into the Chief Priest’s courtyard while Peter was required to stay outside. 

After speaking to the woman watching the gate, she allowed Peter into the area while asking him a question he’d soon regret answering.

“You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?”

Peter responded with his first denial.

“No, I am not.”

His response was to go to the entryway, and there he heard a rooster crowing. The girl, a family member of the man whose ear Peter severed, spotted him again.

“This man is definitely one of them!”

But Peter denied it again with an oath. 

“I don’t even know the man.”

But then again some bystanders adamantly confronted him again.

“You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.”

Peter embraced his denial, going full bore.

“A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!”

And then the rooster crowed once more as Jesus looked at him from across the way. The words of Jesus from the night before flashed through his mind. 

“Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

Peter broke down and wept bitterly as he fled.


From The Garden To The Cross, Podcast - From The Garden To The Cross, Addison Blu Williams

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