Peter's Denial: A Negative Witness
Think of a time in your life where you “got caught with your hand in the cookie jar” or you did something you swore you would never do. How did you feel?
This passage takes place just as Judas comes with a crowd of people to arrest Jesus. Only a few hours earlier, Peter had sworn his loyalty to Jesus and had vowed never to leave him. Now he is about to face a crisis situation. We pick up the story at this point. Have someone read Luke 22:54-62.
1. As Jesus is taken away, Peter follows at a distance. What does this tell you about Peter’s character?
2. Describe the scene in the courtyard. What is the mood and ambiance of the place?
3. What do you think prompted Peter’s denials? What did he fear?
4. What is it Peter denied (see verses 56, 58 and 59)? What did Peter have to lose in being identified with Jesus?
5. How and when are you tempted to avoid being identified with Jesus or his cause? What is it you fear? What is it you would lose?
6. What breaks Peter’s string of denial (verses 60-61)?
7. Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter. Why? What kind of look do you think it was? What did it communicate? What “wakes you up” to your sin? How does Jesus look into your life?
8. Once Peter recognizes what he has done, what is significant about his response? Why does he weep? What is your response once you realize your own sin?
What can you learn from Peter about dealing with sin and temptation in your own life? In what situation do you need to stand up for Jesus instead of denying him? Pray for each other that God will give you strength in times of crisis.
“Witnesses to Jesus” Bible Studies are available
Many thanks to those who gave their time to the writing and editing of these studies: the InterVarsity® staff authors (mentioned with each study); Kathy Burrows (design); Jeff Yourison (layout editor); and Shelley Soceka and Judy Yourison (proofreaders).—Bob Grahmann, editor
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