Bible Study Lesson: Matthew 26:31-35
Peter, the man who had followed Jesus from the very beginning of His ministry, who had seen the miracles of Christ, Himself could never deny the Savior, could he? So, why did Jesus predict Peter’s denial before He was taken away?
This part of the Easter story simply reinforces who God is.
We all like to believe that we will admit to being Christians, no matter what the circumstances.
And, many missionaries around the globe are facing that very decision today.
In reality, if we were looking at a death sentence for claiming Christ as our Savior, could we?
The Prediction – Telling Peter’s Denial of Christ
Then Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’
But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”
But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.”
Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
Peter *said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too. – Matthew 26:31-35 NASB
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
In the comfort and safety of the upper room, the disciples were brave and declared their loyalty, even to the point of death. But, when the moment of truth came, they all fled.
This reminds me of some disturbing pictures I received recently through email of a Muslim march through the streets of London. The crowd shook their fists and waved signs with these slogans:
- “Behead those who insult Islam”
- “England, you will be the next 9-11”
- “Muslims will rule the world”
I like to hope these were just a few radicals and that, in defense of the Muslim nation, most don’t have this thought pattern.
Nevertheless, I’m positive the slogans and the hatred of the marchers instilled a sense of fear, especially to the people (Christians) who were in the streets watching.
The photos from the quotes above were never shown on any of the American news programs.
There are many other stories like this which are never shown in the news. They depict Christians being tortured or even killed for their beliefs but they still do not deny Christ.
Leave Your Bible at Home
Did you know? It is now illegal in up to 50 countries to even own a Bible. Not all are punishable by death but persecution does exist.
You can learn more about persecuted Christians by visiting the persecuted church website.
Back to the Disciples
It seems we can easily condemn Peter and the other disciples for abandoning Jesus when the time came for His arrest leading to the crucifixion. And, we bravely recite that we would stand strong in our faith, what would we really do in a similar situation?
Back to Us – Do We Deny Christ?
Telling others about our devotion to Christ here in America (or other free countries) where, although we may suffer from an insult or two, is easy.
But, what if we lived in a country where declaring our belief in Jesus could mean death? Would we be as bold or would we flee to safety just as the disciples did?
Use God’s Power
I know these are some difficult questions to answer and none of us know exactly how we would react in a similar situation.
Our only hope is to pray and ask God to use His great power to make us stronger in faith. Pray that we will come together as brothers and sisters in Christ for the spiritual battles ahead.
This way, if and when that time comes for us, we can depend upon Gods strength, not ours to see us through.
Finally, please pray for the persecuted Christians here and around the world. And, as Christ commanded; pray for the ones who are so misguided. Jesus can save them too!
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read this.
Read Today’s Verses Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version