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Peter's Denial

Peter's Denial

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Published by glennpease

"And he denied him. . . . " LUKE xxii. 54-62.

"And he denied him. . . . " LUKE xxii. 54-62.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 04, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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PETER'S DEIAL By REV. GEORGE H. MORRISO, M.A. "And he denied him. . . . " LUKE xxii. 54-62. JESUS has been betrayed. The tragedy of Geth- semane is over. ow bound and guarded by the High Priest s retinue, He has been led into the city for His trial. And where are the disciples ? They have fled. They have betrayed their Master in His hour of need. They have been scattered like leaves before the storm all saving two, who followed Jesus to the city afar off. And of these two, as the fourth gospel tells us, the one was Peter and the other was John. See them with straining eyes and beating hearts, keeping the rabble in sight from turn to turn. Look at them, shunning the flaring torches, and creeping in the dark shadows of the streets ! You would hardly recognise these two disciples, as they follow Jesus afar off. My friend, my sister, is it far off that you are following Christ ? Do you avoid the light ? Do you hang back ? Are you anxious not to be recognised? O, far-off follower, yours is a dangerous path ! The great denial of Peter began in this, that Peter followed Jesus afar off. 93 94 PETER S DEIAL From the fourth gospel, too, we learn how Peter found his way into the High Priest s house. We should not expect a London workman to be made free of the Bishop of London s palace. o more could this rough fisherman expect to have the entry into the High Priest s house. But the apostle John
was of some social standing. The servants knew him, or recognised the gentleman. And somehow John had got ahead of Peter, and entered through the High Priest s gate alone. The wicket closed. John thought of Peter then. He had last seen him as they turned yon corner. Where was he now? And then John, looking through the lattice of the gate, saw Peter standing in the dark without. It was like John to open the gate for him. It was like John to pluck the portress by the sleeve, and bid her open for a friend of his. It was like human friendship, it was like human love, never to think that by the kindliest deed we may bring a brother to the brink of hell. Had John but known, had John but seen, had John but realised what was to follow, he would have barred the gate, he would have cried to Peter : " O Peter, Peter, for the love of thine immortal soul do not come here : get thee away ! " But John was blind, as love is often blind. He meant it kindly, but he did it ill. He opened the door. Peter came in, and fell. And did you ever play the part of John, my brother ? With that kindly, open, hospitable heart of PETER S DEIAL 95 yours, did you never open the gate for Simon Peter ? There are places where John can stand, but Peter falls. There are companies, there are meats and drinks, that to John may be harmless, but to Peter are poison. Life would be easy if the devil were always ugly ! It is when dear souls like John open the gates that life is hard ! ow, let us try and see the High Priest s house, for we can never understand this incident, if we are thinking of one of our houses in this land. These eastern houses stood, and stand, foursquare. It is their flat bare walls that first arrest us. The wonder
of an English child would be, where are the windows gone. In the centre of the front wall there is an arch, barred by a gateway with a wicket in it. We should almost think it was a prisonhouse, if we did not hear the romping ot the children. ow open the gate, pass through the archway past the porter s box, and here is a square courtyard open to heaven, and round it on the four sides there are the dwelling- rooms, and into the courtyard their windows look. The house of the High Priest was of that kind. It was in such a house that Peter found himself. He stood in the archway just inside the gate, and above him flared the swinging lamp, for it was night ; and there was the courtyard full of shadowy figures, and yonder, through these brightly lighted windows 9 6 PETER S DEIAL Jesus was there. And Christ was within an hour of His great confession, and Peter within an hour of his great denial. Meanwhile, the night was cold ; men shivered ; there was an icy twinkle in the stars ; and Peter, standing in the shadow of the arch, and narrowly watched, though he did not know it, by the portress sitting in her little box Peter saw that the High Priest s servants, out in the court, had kindled a fire of coals. And what would he do? That was the question now. Would he wait till the firelight flashed upon his face, and men came peering at this stow away ? Or would he brazen it out, and go and warm himself, and sit and chat with the circle round the fire ? "I shall brazen it out/ said the heart of Simon Peter ; and it was like that eager and impetuous heart to go galloping headlong to the precipice. For what were they talking of, these men around the fire? What were they talking of, these men who had

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