Simon thrice denied Jesus– The Apostle Peter thrice avowed his love and devotion for the Christ.
69 Now Peter sat without in thepalace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70 But he denied before them all,saying, I know not what thou sayest. (Matthew 26: 69-70)
15 So when theyhad dined, Jesus saith toSimon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saithunto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (John 21:15)
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, I donot know the man. (Matthew 26:71-72)
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (John 21:16)
73 And after a while came unto him theythat stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thyspeech bewrayeth thee.
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man.And immediately the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus,which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:73-75)
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowestall things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (John 21:17)
You and I do not know why the Apostle Peter denied Jesus!What we with a surety can know is that if hewould have been identified with certainty that horrible night, he would havebeen at risk of being taken, flogged, and murdered, just like his Master was;for this was a night when Lucifer and his millions of angels egged on thepeople to destroy and kill the Messiah, and when that lynch-mentality had takenover, no follower of Jesus could feel safe!
The Apostle Peter was no coward. We know this by looking at the risks he took for the rest of his life inpreaching the gospel, and finally being executed in a most cruel manner; he wasnot a man who would back away from trouble! But that night was neither theright time nor place. We don’t know but if God placed fear in his heart just to safe-guard the future of theChurch!
The Apostle Peter was the Senior Apostle, and as such he was the Head of the Church to-be, now when Jesus was beingcrucified. Such is the apostolic succession of the true Church; the SeniorApostle always becomes the new Head of the Church when the old Prophet dies.
The Apostle Peter was not the rock uponwhich the Church was to be built! This is a veryimportant understanding; even though Peter means ‘stone’, Jesus would not buildhis Church upon a mortal man! If it were to be built on any man at all – itwould be Jesus Christ, wouldn’t you agree!
The rock of Jesus! Inthe following passage we see the mystery open up;
The people hadmany ideas on who Jesus might be. But the Apostles said that he was the Christ,the Son of God. How could they know that? Throughrevelation!
Jesus gave apromise to the Apostle Peter, that if he, the leader of the Church, were toseek wisdom from God in other matters, he would, by revelation, know theanswers from God through revelation, and so the gates of hell would not prevailagainst the Church. So, the rock of the Church is Jesus – who will revealhimself and his truths through revelation!The Apostle Peter was not the rockJesus talked about!
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him,Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the key sof the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew16: 13-19)
Peter was given the keys of the kingdom. What ever he bound, sealed, loosed, blessed or cursed on earth would have binding force in heaven. He also had the power to convey these keys of the kingdom to new apostles, so as to maintain twelve in that quorum.
But, unfortunately, the Apostles were killed of quite rapidly, and it is quite clear that those who claim authority by receiving the keys of the kingdom from Peter, never received any revelations from our Lord.
How else can we explain that after the death of the Apostles the doctrines of the post-apostolic church, as they were set forth by councils, popes and clergymen have lost much contact with the actual words of Jesus! And this must be a great concern, when churches which claims divine rights pervert the words of Jesus.
The words of the churches of today are so often contradicting the wonderful and beautifully simple teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. Good thing, then, that we have so many of their words in the Holy Bible!