Lessons from Peter’s denial

We all know Peter denied Jesus three times. In a previous post, we discussed how we will be judged based on our words. In this post, we will discuss how our testing will unfold which enables us to be prepared and even avoid such situations.

The Denial of St Peter by Gerard van Honthorst (1622-1624)

Directed towards us

Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” But he denied it before [them] all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

Matt 26:69-70

When Peter was tested, he was asked directly about his association with Jesus of “Galilee” by a servant girl which Peter denied.

Notice that the question was direct, associating Jesus Christ with a vast region (i.e, Galilee). This is like associating us with a person of a country or a region.

Directed to people surrounding

And when he had gone out to the gateway, another [girl] saw him and said to those [who were] there, “This [fellow] also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

Matt 26:71-72

This time, another servant girl did not ask Peter but told to those around him saying the he was with Jesus of Nazaerth.

Notice that Peter was associated with Jesus Christ by someone else before others and Jesus was narrowed down to a small town.

Directed by people surrounding

And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are [one] of them, for your speech betrays you.” Then he began to curse and swear, [saying,] “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed.

Matt 26:73-74

Now, Peter was affirmed to be with Jesus by those around him, using his speech (i.e, accent). This time, Peter started cursing and swearing that he does not know Jesus.


When Peter was tested, he was never accused of anything but just associated him with Jesus Christ.

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.

Mark 8:38

Are we standing with Jesus when others surrounding us mock Jesus and misuse His name? Or, are we distancing ourselves from Jesus to be accepted before others?

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