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  Restored –by a Look Luke 22:47-62: “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter recalled the Lord's words, how He had told him, Before the cock crows today, you will deny Me thrice.” (v61)

We were exploring last week the phrase ‘cast down’, which has its roots in an Old English shepherd’s term for a sheep that has accidentally turned over on its back and cannot get up again by itself. ‘A ‘cast down’ sheep is a very pathetic sight’, says Philip Keller. ‘Lying on its back, its foot in the air, it flays away, frantically struggling to stand up without success. Sometimes it will bleat a little for help, but generally it lies there lashing about in frightened frustration.’ This is similar to the situation we sometimes find ourselves in life, so helpless, so frustrated, so down cast not knowing exactly what to do; which is why our Lord Jesus will bacon on us saying, ’come unto Me…and I will give you rest and peace! Let us learn how to come unto our Lord. He goes on to say that whenever a shepherd finds that a sheep is missing, his first thought is this, my sheep may be cast down somewhere –I must go in search of it and set it on its feet again. ‘Some of my most poignant memories’, he continues, ‘are wrapped around the co-mingled anxiety of keeping a count of my flock and repeatedly saving and restoring cast sheep.’ The care and concern that the one-time shepherd, Philip Keller, had for his sheep pales into insignificance, however, beside that of Lord Jesus; that is, whenever Lord Jesus is on the scene our mini-shepherd condition as individual elect of the Lord faints out! Many Christians hold a view that when they fall by the way or fall in their Christian experience, God become extremely angry with them. Not so; because God knows that often we live our lives like sheep without a shepherd and when life is lived in that pattern, it is bound to have numerous ups and down. The revelation of Scripture is that Eternal God, the Almighty, the Lord of all creation, has a shepherd’s heart. Recall that we talked about the attributes of a shepherd’s heart in our other sermon. He our chief Shepherd is infinitely more caring and compassionate towards the sheep of His fold than any human shepherd could ever be. Reflect again on the tender and loving manner in which Lord Jesus restored Peter after he had three times denied Him. The tenderness, the compassion and the patience He our Lord Jesus showed in restoring Simon Peter back to himself after Simon Peter fell are just the same as He will show in restoring you and I whenever we err or fall out of grace. Remember that there are many ways we deny Lord Jesus every day by our character, our attitude, our behavioral pattern and our life style that are questionable with regard to the Word of God in the Scripture and in the Gospel! So whenever we find ourselves in such situation by erring, our Lord wants us to know and recall His dealings with Simon Peter when he erred and know that is exactly how He wants to deal with us, hence He calls us to come unto Him! Let us allow ourselves to be called back to God when we err by denying the Lord.


Now let us read Luke 22:47-62; 47 And while He was still speaking, behold, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the Twelve [apostles], was going before [leading] them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss Him, 48 But Jesus said to him, Judas! Would you betray and deliver up the Son of Man with a kiss? 49 And when those who were around Him saw what was about to happen, they said, Lord, shall we strike with the sword? 50 And one of them struck the bond servant of the high priest and cut off his ear, the right one. 51 But Jesus said, Permit them to go so far [as to seize Me]. And He touched the little (insignificant) ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to those who had come out against Him–the chief priests and captains of the temple and elders [of the Sanhedrin]–Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple [enclosure], you did not stretch forth [your] hands against Me. But this is your hour–and the power [which] darkness [gives you has its way]. 54 Then they seized Him and led Him away, bringing Him into the house of the high priest. Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were seated together, Peter sat among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and gazing [intently] at him, said, This man too was with Him. 57 But he denied it and said, Woman, I do not know Him! 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, You are one of them also. But Peter said, Man, I am not! 59 And when about an hour more had elapsed, still another emphatically insisted, It is the truth that 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 instantly, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter recalled the Lord's words, how He had told him, Before the cock crows today, you will deny Me thrice. 62 And he went out and wept bitterly [that is, with painfully moving grief].


Lord Jesus can turn the worst of deniers into the best of disciples. Let’s think about denial for a moment. Denial means “to declare that something is untrue.” We tend to think of denial as a bad thing. I recently watched the Netflix Documentary Behind The Curve. There is a growing movement of people who believe the earth is flat. They believe the earth is not a round globe but a flat disk surrounded by a barrier of ice. Some believe a dome covers the earth. If you’ve ever seen the Truman Show a dome covers his town. Others believe there is no dome but we stare up into infinite space. It’s hotly debated. Now how big of a denial is it to deny that the earth is round? It’s huge. You have to ignore much of modern science as well as believe there’s some sort of conspiracy that makes it worth it for someone to cover up that the earth is flat. You and I—I hope—would never deny the earth is round. But what if I were to tell you that this is not the worst denial we can commit? In fact, there’s a much worse denial we often commit. Each one of us struggles with denying Lord Jesus. We struggle to be faithful disciples. We do this when we don’t give every part of our life to Him or we don’t tell others about Him because we’re embarrassed. That’s denying Lord Jesus. It’s actually much worse than denying the earth is round because what you believe and do about Lord Jesus has eternal weight and consequence. If we’re denying Lord Jesus, the Lord of the universe, the Lord who created a beautiful round earth and all that lives and breathes on it, we need to change. In our text today we encounter two forms of denying Lord Jesus: The Betrayal (22:47-53): The moment has arrived. While Lord Jesus is telling His disciples again to pray so that they will not enter into temptation, a crowd of people arrive and Judas is leading them; temptation was just coming in for Lord Jesus and even to all the disciples. Luke highlights this shocking event: “Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them.” The Scriptures prophesied that this would be how the Messiah would be treated. “9Even my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted (relied on and was confident), who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9) His friend, his close companion, is the leader of this betrayal. We are told in verse 52 that this crowd consists of the chief priests, temple officers, and the elders of the Jewish nation. They have come to take Lord Jesus by force and they are expecting a scuffle because they are carrying swords and clubs. What a fearful and intimidating scene. Is this not exactly what is playing out in our lives, people very close to us being those that are used in our betrayal in life? The signal for identifying Lord Jesus to this mob was a kiss. The kiss was the greeting of a friend in that culture. The irony is staggering. The kiss of a friend will be the signal to hand Lord Jesus over to the mob for arrest. As Judas approaches Lord Jesus to kiss Him, Lord Jesus asks him something. Literally, the word order is this: “Judas. A kiss the Son of Man betray?” The meaning tries to carry the weight of that word order. “48 But Jesus said to him, Judas! Would you betray and deliver up the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48) Verses 49-50 show the fearfulness of this scene. The disciples ask, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” But before there is a response from Lord Jesus, one of the disciples (Peter we are told in other gospel accounts) strikes the servant of the high priest and cut his ear off. The disciples have their two swords and they are ready to fight for Lord Jesus. But that is not the plan or purpose of our Lord. Lord Jesus answers, “No more of this!” Lord Jesus is not trying to avoid this moment nor is He going to engage in a physical battle with weapons against His enemies. Amazingly, Lord Jesus touches the servant’s ear and heals him. Lord Jesus then addresses the mob. They have come as if they are arresting a dangerous outlaw. Lord Jesus then points out the hypocrisy of this moment. Every day Lord Jesus was standing in the temple courts teaching. But they would not arrest Him there for the fear of the crowds. So they come in the cover of night, away from the crowds, as if Lord Jesus is a dangerous criminal, which He is not. But evil is having its moment right now. The forces of evil are having their way for a time. I think this is an important observation that Lord Jesus makes. The forces of evil are having their way for a time. Evil has its day and Lord Jesus accepts this truth. The Denial (22:54-62): So Lord Jesus is seized and led away to the house of the high priest for hearing before the high priest and Jewish leaders. Matthew records that all the disciples left Lord Jesus and ran at this moment as seen in Matthew 26:56, “56 But all this has taken place in order that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples deserted Him and, fleeing, escaped.” But Peter does not run far. As Lord Jesus is led away, Peter is following at a distance. He is watching, wanting to know what is going to happen to Lord Jesus. But this is dangerous to do. He could just as easily be arrested with Lord Jesus. So Peter follows Lord Jesus and His captors to the house of the high priest. In the courtyard of the high priest, they had kindled a fire. The “they” refers back to this mob that arrested Lord Jesus. The temple officers and soldiers are sitting outside in the courtyard around the fire as they wait for the interrogation by the high priest to conclude. Peter comes into that courtyard and sits down among them. This is a very dangerous situation for Peter. As Peter is sitting by the fire among all these people, a servant girl is staring intently at Peter through the fire. As she continues to examine him, she comes to the realization that and declares, “This man also was with Him.” A dangerous identification is made. One can easily imagine the fear that ran through Peter as this identification is made. “That is the guy who was with Lord Jesus when we arrested Him!” So Peter denies his association with Lord Jesus. “Woman, I do not know Him.” We are called to confess Christ and deny ourselves. Peter does the reverse. Peter denies Christ to serve his own interests. This is exactly what all of us do! A little later another person make a similar identification of Peter. “You also are one of them.” You are one of Lord Jesus’ disciples. But Peter responds, “Man, I am not!” Then another hour goes by and another person begins insisting that Peter is a disciple of Lord Jesus. “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he too is a Galilean.” With great force Peter denies his association with Lord Jesus again. “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” While Peter made this final denial, the rooster crowed. We do not know if Lord Jesus was being led out of the high priest’s home at this moment or whether from the courtyard one could easily see into the house. In either case, it is at this moment that the Lord turns to look at Peter as he completes his third denial. As the Lord looks at Peter, Peter remembers how Lord Jesus had predicted his three denials this very night. Peter had vehemently declared that he would never deny Lord Jesus and would go to the death for Lord Jesus. But his words were empty just like often times our words are empty. When the time of danger came and when the power of the temptation arrived, Peter denied the Lord three times. So Peter leaves the courtyard and cries bitterly over what he has done; and here lies the difference, do you realize when you err and weep bitterly for it or do you just wave it away and move on as if nothing has happened? How could this happen? How could a disciple of Lord Jesus betray Lord Jesus? How could the leader of the disciples be willing to deny Lord Jesus? This are the many questions we must always look forward to and be sure we have considered it properly because it is lack of considering issues properly that often leave us with failure and bitterness and some time with a tendency of moving away from God just as Adam and Eve did but God will always Will that we come back to Him in repentance! Bear in mind nobody is bigger to be tempted, temptation comes equally to us all which is why our only allowed attitude towards temptation is to flee from it!

  Denying Lord Jesus:

1. The danger of spiritual overconfidence. Luke has painted for us the picture of the problem of spiritual overconfidence. Lord Jesus warned Peter that he would deny Him. Peter did not believe Him; and so it is with many of us when God speaks to us, often we don’t believe God and no sooner we find ourselves falling victims to the very things God’s Word is meant to save us from, too bad and no wonder sincere people like Simon Peter will always weep bitterly when they realize their foolishness and stupidity in life. He declared that these other disciples might fall away but he never would. When on the Mount of Olives, rather than praying in the face of this severe temptation, the disciples were found sleeping. In 1 Corinthians 10 the apostle Paul wrote to those Christians about the failures of Israel in the wilderness. He then gives the lesson of Israel’s failure for us: “12Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Spiritual overconfidence is a dangerous attitude. We fall because we do not see or admit our weaknesses. We do not listen to the Lord and prepare ourselves for Satan’s attack on our faith as God aims to lead us with His revelations. Denying Lord Jesus sounds impossible until we are in a pressing moment where admitting Lord Jesus would cause us harm. Let us always control the overconfidence of ourselves and try to listen when God speaks even though the words are hurting, always remember they are words spoken out of love from a loving Father who said, it is not My Will that any should perish! 2. The ease of denying Lord Jesus. Do we see how easy it is to deny Lord Jesus? It is fine to admit loving Lord Jesus to other people who claim to love Lord Jesus. But what about confessing Lord Jesus when it will give us trouble or cause us suffering? We deny Lord Jesus when we refuse to pray in public. We deny Lord Jesus when we will not open a Bible in public. We deny Lord Jesus when we will not admit to being a Christian. We deny Lord Jesus when we refuse to speak out against sinful behaviors. We deny Lord Jesus when there is very little that is distinctive about how I live my life and the lives of those who do not follow Lord Jesus. It is so easy for us to deny Lord Jesus because the very things we do not believe is denying Lord Jesus is what denying Lord Jesus is all about. Do we set our light under a basket so no one can see who we are or see Lord Jesus in us? Or do we set our light on the table, illuminating the whole room so that all see Lord Jesus in our lives? So you can see that the Scripture and the Gospel are already there showing us whether we err or not. You don’t need anybody to standby and be watching you, He said, O me nma mere gawa, O me njo mere gawa! The day of reckoning will come! 3. Failure under the world’s pressure. It is very important for us to know that the problem with Peter is the same problem we face. When the world presses on us, we cave in. No one wants to be an outsider, we all wants to be recognized and known by the world and so we do as the world people do and no longer as God’s people. No one wants to be an outcast. We do not want to be ridiculed at work because we demand to have our Sundays off so we can worship or even a two hours for prayer. We do not want to take flack (publicize or promote) for telling others to stop their cussing (to say words that are not polite because you are angry) and evil talk while in our presence. We do not want people to criticize us for telling others that sexual immorality is a sin against God. The world is trying to press our values in on us. This is the meaning of Paul’s words in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” (Romans 12:2) We cannot masquerade as a worldly person in all of its ramifications and still pretend that we are for God. We do not pattern ourselves after the thinking of the world and still think that we are on course. To be a Christian means to not be like the world in any pattern or fashion. Know this and know it very well! 4. If there is hope for Peter, then there is hope for us. The story is not recorded so that Peter would have his name dragged through the mud or his reputation sullied. The point is that Peter is crushed by his sin but still finds out that he can come back to Lord Jesus. We know what Peter becomes. Peter comes back stronger in the Lord after his failure and this is exactly what is required of each and every one of us to do likewise. There is hope in the blood of Lord Jesus to come back from the depths of our sins and return to Him. For all the damage we do by our sins, our Lord is so merciful and gracious that He will take us back though we reject Him and deny Him. I try to visualize what the look was that Lord Jesus gave as His eyes met Peter’s eyes. Surely He did not look at Simon Peter with hatred or anger. Rather, how often Lord Jesus looked at His creation with compassion. Lord Jesus is going to the cross to deal with our denial. Lord Jesus is going to allow His death to occur so that every sin we make can be overcome to enhance our chances of staying and remaining with Him to eternity. Let us change how we look at sin. We need to stop simply seeing sin as a breaking of God’s law. Can we see our sins as something far worse? Our sin is a denial of who we are to be to Lord Jesus. Our sin is a denial of our Lord. Our sin is a rejection that God’s way is able to provide for my needs and desires. The eyes of the Lord are looking at you. Will you weep bitterly over your sin and turn back to the Lord? Or will you continue to deny the Lord who loves you and died for you? The decision is yours to make and God wants to direct us so that we do not make errors!


Loving Father and my God, I am so relieved to know that when I am ‘cast down’, You are not disgruntled with me, but You restore me with infinite tenderness and care. How can I ever sufficiently thank You Father? Lord please always help me! All honor and praise be to Your wonderful name Lord Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!