Sermon: Bitter sorrow Over Sin (Luke 22:54-62)

Bitter Sorrow Over Sin

Luke 22:54-62

Introduction

Last week we saw the betrayal of Jesus, Judas identifying Him with a kiss.  We saw the power Jesus had, with just saying I Am He, all the soldiers, some 600 plus and all the others fall to the ground.  We saw Peter in action as he drew the sword and began swinging it at whoever and whatever was in his way.  Peter was very confident.  Finally, we saw Jesus heal Malchus’ ear.  Now there is no more resistance, Jesus is bound and led away…

Primary Claim

The Repentance and sorrow that leads to eternal life is a gift from God.

Human Condition

In general we are way too confident in ourselves.  Peter had always had a problem with self-confidence.  Jesus has already on at least one occasion and possibly two predicted Peter’s denial.  Peter was not buying it.

We’ve already a number of weeks ago read Luke’s version, but to show just how prideful Peter was, let’s read Matthew’s account.

Matthew 26:

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. [1]

Peter is speaking viciously against Jesus almost to the point of calling Him a liar.  Jesus just told Peter that he and all the others would deny Him.  Literally, No matter what you say, Jesus, I will never deny you!  You don’t know what You’re talking about.

Human pride runs so deep that Peter should have deduced that Jesus has never been wrong yet.  He’s never told us anything that wasn’t true and didn’t happen.

The sad truth is we are a lot like Peter.  Whether we admit it or not, pride is one of our main pitfalls.  It is the sin that keeps us from doing many of the things we should be doing.  Prayer, Scripture Reading, etc.

God dealt with Peter’s pride as He even used Satan to sift Peter.

Please hear God’s Word for GCC Today…

Luke 22:54-62

54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. [2]

1.   Jesus Taken to Annas the High Priest (John 18)

John 18…

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in…

19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. [3]

Annas being the former high priest still had a lot of influence.  He begins to question Jesus.  This is first and foremost a scam.  Jewish law states that no trial can be held under the cover of night.  However, it seems they made a exception with Jesus.  If Jesus is to be put to death as they hope it has to be done quickly.

Notice a couple of things; first John mentions that another disciple went with Peter, namely, John.  That’s how John always writes about himself.  He knew the High Priest.  That’s how John and Peter get through the slave girl whose job it was to watch the gate and not let anyone in except those who were invited.

John speaks with her and she lets Peter in also.

The High Priest Annas begins to question Jesus.  Notice that his questions revolve around theology and Jesus’ teaching.  Our Lord responds by saying, basically, I always taught publically in the synagogues and in the temple, I did not teach any secret doctrines, so ask the ones who were there.

Now we go to the second stop, which we pick up in Luke…

 

2.  Jesus Taken to Caiaphas the High Priest (Luke 22:54)

54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance.

Only after Jesus is ready can they arrest Him.  Remember that Jesus is in complete control of the situation.

This is the religious leaders taking Jesus to Caiaphas who was the current high priest.

The picture now is that all the disciples have fled except Peter and John.  Jesus has already said this would happen.

Matthew 26:

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[4]

Jesus quoting from Zechariah 13:7, declaring His authority to reign.  When He is taken away all His followers scatter.

It’s still dark and Jesus is now standing before Caiaphas the high priest, with Peter and John in the shadows.

It’s here Jesus was questioned further and false accusations were brought against Him.

One false witness testified, We heard Him say He would destroy the temple made with hands and rebuild it in three days without hands.

Then Caiaphas stands up and walks over to Jesus and asks Him if He is not going to speak and make a defense.   Then the high priest asks Jesus the question that really brings about the crucifixion.

Matthew 26:

62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.”[5]

While all this is going on, Peter is still outside in the courtyard…

3.  Peter’s Three Denials (Luke 22:55-60)

55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.”

The scene, remember, is John securing entrance for Peter and himself, because John personally knew the high priest.  The servant girl who kept guard was probably the first to question Peter.  She knew something was wrong and that Peter was one of the twelve.

At any rate, three times during the next couple of hours in the night Peter was questioned and three times he denied that he knew Jesus.

Peter is questioned about knowing and being with Jesus and three times he says he didn’t know him.

Matthew and Mark report that at the last denial Peter even began to curse and swear as he adamantly denied the he knew Jesus.  What are we to make of this situation and Peter’s response?

We could be very quick to condemn Peter.  We could think, Peter, be a man, own up to the fact that you are one of the twelve.  We could think Peter should be telling the truth and not lying.  However, at the same time, at least Peter is there.  Where are the other ten disciples?  John is no longer mentioned.

Peter very much wants to see what is happening to Jesus.  He loves his Savior.  However, the word is spreading that there is a disciple of Jesus out in the courtyard.  He wants to see his Lord and he is afraid.  These responses are his fear speaking not what is really in his heart.

Jesus already knew all that would happen.  He knew Peter would deny even knowing Him.  Jesus prayed that during Peter’s fear, his faith would remain…

Luke 22:

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” 33 Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” [6]

Peter’s faith remained through this sifting.  But remember something was shaken loose…Peter’s pride.

We must realize that those who remain and persevere to the end are those Jesus has prayed for…saving faith is a gift from God and keeping that faith is also God controlled.

Let’s quickly look at something else God does…

4.  Peter’s Sincere Repentance (Luke 22:60-62)

And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. [7]

All four Gospels tell us that when Peter said for the third time that he did not even know Jesus at all, Jesus’ eyes and Peter’s eyes met and the rooster crowed.

Everything Jesus had told Peter the day before came like a flood onto Peter’s soul.  At that moment through the sifting of Satan, Peter’s pride and self-reliance was broken.

It was the Words of Jesus and the look of Jesus and the sifting of Satan all combined that brought Peter to weep bitterly over his sin of self-reliance and pride.

God gave Satan permission to sift Peter.  Jesus knew that in the sifting, Peter would come out like gold refined by fire.

God taught Peter about what would happen.  Jesus taught Peter that he would deny the Lord three times before the next morning.

God looked at Peter and in that moment the work of Satan had its full effect as Peter runs away weeping bitterly in repentance.

There is something else Jesus knew…

And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus knew Peter would repent and return and when he did, he was to strengthen the others.

Peter thought he was ready to go with Jesus to prison and even to death.  He did not know his heart the way Jesus did.  We cannot fool God.  He knows the true condition of our hearts.

I really like what William Hendriksen writes in his commentary on Luke…

Peter goes out a weeps as only he can weep: bitterly, profusely, sorrowfully, his heart being filled with genuine regret for what he has done—Hendriksen

So, after the look from Jesus, Peter’s heart was stirred and he repented.  So, we also discover that repentance is even initiated by God.  Unless God moves, man will never repent.  We are all like Peter, our oppinions of ourselves are way too high.  We have wrongly estimated the condition of our hearts and our commitment to Christ.

Jeremiah 17:

          The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately sick;

who can understand it? [8]

Primary claim refocused

The Repentance and sorrow that leads to eternal life is a gift from God.

I hope we can all see together that at every step to bring Peter to repentance, God was working.  The same is true for us.  Repentance is a privilege granted and brought about by God.

Human condition changed or Human need met

The sin of pride kept Peter from repentance.  In his mind, he would never in a million lifetimes ever deny Jesus.  Peter even became angry at Jesus and basically called Him a liar when Jesus told him what the future held for Peter.

The same is true of us.  If we are to repent appropriately and consistently God has to remove our human pride.  For us, this can be very painful.  It truly is godly sorrow that leads to repentance, and sorrow godly or not is never without pain.

I pray today, we can see the work of the Lord in our lives destroying human pride and granting repentance that leads to life.

Exhortation in godly living

James 1:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. [9]

The greatest good in all the world is for us to be in a right relationship with our Creator.  And if, to bring us into a right relationship we must repent and believe, then the most loving thing God can do is cause trials to come that sift away our pride and lead to repent and believe.

James understood this truth, so did Peter, and so must we.

 


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Mt 26:30–35). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 22:54–62). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Jn 18:19–24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Mt 26:30–31). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[5] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Mt 26:62–66). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[6] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 22:31–34). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[7] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Lk 22:54–62). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[8] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Je 17:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[9] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Jas 1:2–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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