Updated: Jan 2
By Luke Lancaster
Let's look at how Peter denied Christ. First off, Peter was listed as one of Christ’s twelve close friends and disciples (Mk. 3:19). However, things turned south one night. When Jesus was on trial within the house of the Jewish high priest, Peter sat down outside around a fire with some people. It was assumed that the man inside the house, Jesus, was a criminal, and nobody wanted to be associated with a criminal – including Peter himself. And if somebody was a follower of the criminal, then they might face charges in court themselves.
But Peter was an obvious follower of the supposed criminal on trial, for he was close to Jesus at nearly every significant event for the last three years. So, rather unsurprisingly, people begin to question Peter. When others notice that he is a follower of Jesus, Peter would need to courageously say “yes, I do follow this guy.” However, he sadly claims to have never heard of the man. Imagine the pain Jesus would have felt if He heard that.
In fact, as soon as Peter denied Him, Jesus “turned and looked at Peter” (Lk 22:61). The expression on Christ’s face would’ve said, “I spent three years patiently teaching you, I planned to give you keys to My Kingdom -and this is how you treat Me? Not only Judas, but you too?” Catholics would call this action a deeply damaging one, one that might cause Jesus to never speak to you again. It was a sin so grave that Peter may have cut off fellowship with his Lord. But as we know, that isn’t the end of the story like Judas, for he weeps and repents.