From denial to powerful witness
Matthew 26:69-27:14 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71 When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73 A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.”74 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”And he went out and wept bitterly.
27 Now when morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death; 2 and they bound Him, and led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate the governor.
3 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” 5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6 The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood.” 7 And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potter’s Field as a burial place for strangers. 8 For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; 10 and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me.”
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor questioned Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.” 12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer. 13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?” 14 And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed.
In today’s text it says:
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71 When
he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know
the man.” A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” Then
he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three
times.”And he went out and wept bitterly. Later in Acts chapter 2, it says: When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like
a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the
Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance… Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem,
let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the
prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your
sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days
pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
‘The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. In Acts 4:13-14 says: Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. What was the difference, in Peter, that changed him from a man who feared the accusations of a young girl, to a man who spoke with power and performed great miracles? Of course, in part it was what Jesus said in Acts 1:8: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Peter himself testified quoting God’s word through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. In John 16:7, Jesus had said: “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” So surely, Peter was changed; empowered by the Holy Spirit. In John 14:26 Jesus said: “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” In Mark 13:11 Jesus said: “When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.” So it was the Holy Spirit who gave Peter the words to speak when he delivered that first sermon on the day of Pentecost. It was the Holy Spirit, acting on the words Peter spoke and the miracles he performed, who convicted people of their sins and caused them to repent; 3000 were saved that very first day of Pentecost. In John 16:8-11 Jesus said: “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”
There was more though than only the Holy Spirit that had changed in Peter’s life. From the time he denied Jesus because of the accusations of a slave girl, to the time he spoke in power and performed great miracles, Jesus was crucified and resurrected. Jesus death on the cross allowed Peter to be changed. He was freed from the bondage of sin by the blood of Jesus. In John 3:5-6 Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 affirms: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Peter was changed because Jesus died for his sins. Between the time he denied Christ and when he became His powerful witness, Peter got saved. He was born again and he truly entered the kingdom of heaven.
That brings us to the power of the resurrection. Because Jesus was raised from the grave, Peter also walked in the power of the resurrection. Romans 8:11 says: If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. In John 14:12-14 Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Jesus said it would be better if He went away because He would go to the Father. Romans 8:34 says: Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
Like Peter, we too may have denied Jesus. We may have been bound to our bodies and nature of sin. Even though it was 2000 years ago, Jesus died once for all sin. The power of the cross is eternal. We too have been saved and freed from the bondage of sin through the blood of Christ and the cross. We too have been given the indwelling Holy Spirit of God to guide us, teach us and empower us. We too can walk in the fullness of the power of the resurrection because the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. We, like Peter, can do the works that Jesus did and greater works, because in truth it is He who will do it.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for salvation and for power, power to walk in the fullness of the resurrection as a new creation in Christ. Amen.