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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 22:54-71

 

“Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house.  And Peter followed afar off.  And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.  But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.  And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.  And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them.  And Peter said, Man, I am not.  And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him:  for he is a Galilean.  And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest.  And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.  And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.  And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.  And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?  And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.  And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us.  And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:  and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.  Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God?  And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.  And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.”

 

“Luke chapter 22, if you’ll turn there.  ‘Father we settle our hearts as we continue we thank you for your Word.  And Lord, we thank you that you have forewarned us, that you have informed us, Lord, that you have written so specifically and clearly about the days that we live in, and Lord, all of these indicators beckon us to lift up our heads, to know in our hearts that our redemption is drawn nigh.  And Lord, how wonderful it would be this evening to be lifted off the face of the earth, to ever be in your presence, Lord.  Lord, while we remain, we ask for your filling, a fresh empowering Lord of your Holy Spirit.  We pray Lord that when you do come, you would find us occupying, busy Lord about your business, Lord, that you’d find us laying up treasure in heaven and not on the earth, that you would grant us, Lord a perspective that sees beyond the physical.  And Lord we pray for our government, our leaders, our policy-makers, Lord.  Father, that you have your way in all of these issues now that are on the table, all of these controversies, all of these ideas of morality and sin and confession, Father, and forgiveness.  And Lord, that you would use Father this open forum in the media to speak to the hearts of millions and tens and hundreds of millions here and around the world.  And Lord we pray that we might see a great ingathering before you come, Lord.  And Father as we have the privilege to simply gather, sing your praises and study your Word, Lord, traveling through this Gospel of Luke, this record Lord, of your coming, of your incarnation, of your love, your death, your resurrection, your ascension, Lord, give to each of us our portion.  We’re so desperately in need Father, continually of the ministry of your Holy Spirit.  You’ve been faithful Father to do that, since the day you saved us Lord, we feel that we just desire greater and greater portions Father.  And we pray these things in Jesus name, amen.’

 

Peter’s Denial, What It Means To Us

 

Judas and a cohort of Roman soldiers and police from the Temple precincts come to Jesus and the disciples in Gethsemane.  Peter drawing his sword, no doubt encouraged because all of them had fallen down when they said they were looking for Jesus and he said to them “I AM.”  Probably Peter remembering the transfiguration, maybe he’s thinking he’s going to do it again, this is going to look great in the dark, hacks off somebody’s ear, Malchus the servant of the high priest.  Jesus patching things up.  Peter getting a sword somewhere between the Last Supper [their Passover meal] and Gethsemane, stopping at a 24-hour sword shop on the way out of town.  Now the disciples have scattered.  Peter and John are following at a distance.  Great lessons, as we look at it.  But do remember that they’re following, maybe at a distance, but the others are gone, Peter and John are following.  Peter, as we look at him this evening, will be warming himself at the enemy’s fire.  And there are great lessons for us there.  But remember, it was in a courtyard where his life was possibly in jeopardy, for all the lessons in it of backsliding there is also remarkable courage, as we look at the scene, and Peter going out into the night weeping as the cock crows.  So, that’s the scene this evening as we come to Jesus being led away.  Verse 54, says, “Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house.  And Peter followed afar off.”  Now, there will be six trials, as it were.  First, at the house of Caiaphas, or Annas, I’m sorry, then to Caiaphas, then to the Sanhedrin in the morning.  They were not by law allowed to pass sentence at night, even though they did.  From the Sanhedrin to Pilate.  Pilate, wanting to get Jesus off his hands, hears that Herod Antipas is in town, and because he was the procurator over the area, the ruler over the area where Jesus had his ministry [i.e. the Galilee district], sends Jesus to Antipas.  Herod Antipas anxious to see him, questions him, but Christ answers him not a word, and after his soldiers mock Christ, he goes back to Pilate, and now we have the sixth hearing, trial, whatever.  And then from that last stand before Pilate, then to Golgotha and the crucifixion.  So we begin this night of the Passion of Christ.  [Comment:  this is the evening which marked the beginning of the Passover day, days in the Hebrew calendar system beginning on the sundown of the previous day.  They had just had their Passover meal earlier this evening.  Jesus would die as the Lamb of God on the daylight portion of Passover.]   They take him to the house of the high priest, Annas, the first one.  “And Peter followed afar off.  And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.  But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.  And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.  And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them.  And Peter said, Man, I am not.  And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow, also was with him:  for he is a Galilean.  And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest.  And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.” (verses 54-60).  So we have this scene now.  “Peter”, it says, “following afar off.”  He sees Jesus being led away with torches.  His love for Jesus is genuine.  He follows Christ far enough away that he’s not seen, but close enough so he doesn’t loose track of where they’re leading him.  We’re told in one of the other Gospels, that evidently through John, and it seems that James and John, their father’s fishing business {Zebedee’s) was large enough and lucrative enough, wealthy enough that there were contacts in Jerusalem, some even surmise even a relative that was involved in the religious leadership in Jerusalem.  But somehow they know John, and John then gets admittance for himself and for Peter into the courtyard where Christ is.  Now what has happened here is, the sifting has begun. 

 

The Lesson We Follow Here Is, Prayerlessness

 

Jesus had said, ‘Peter, Simon, Satan hath desired to sift you as wheat, but I’ve prayed for you that your faith doesn’t fail.’  [See the previous transcript on Luke 22:21-34 for a good explanation of this “sifting.”]  ‘When you are restored, when you turn back, then strengthen, confirm your brethren.’  And that’s what’s taking place in this scene.  It’s behind the scene, I’m not sure how much Peter’s thinking of it at this time.  But the devil has Peter where he wants him.  Peter has gone through the process first of boasting, and no doubt Satan behind the scene, and Jesus saying ‘I have prayed’, past tense, you know Jesus knew this was coming, and he says ‘Peter, I’ve prayed for you, you’re all going to deny me this evening.’  And Peter says ‘You know, Lord, probably something the Father didn’t mention to you was that while you were praying, that unlike all of the other guys that are gonna run away, I’ll stick with you, to prison, even to death.’  And the Lord knows better.  Satan has Peter just where he wants him, self-confident, self-dependent, independent.  And of course Peter comes to the garden, and the scene, the lesson we follow is, prayerlessness.  He comes to them three times and finds them sleeping instead of praying.  And Jesus said to them, ‘Pray that you enter not into temptation, that there’s no failure in your life.’  It says that they’re sleeping because they’re wearied for sorrow, their hearts are heavy.  But still, you know we see the lesson of someone who is self-confident, ‘Oh Lord, you can count on me.’  Like when someone down on earth says that, God in heaven goes ‘Wheh!  What a relief, there’s one of you, anyway.’  You know, it’s interesting in the Book of Revelation, it says ‘No man was found worthy to open the scroll or loose the seals.’  And John said there was no man in heaven or on the earth, or under the earth.  That basically takes most of us in, we’re in one of those categories.  And yet as I kind of look at that, and saw that for the first time, it was a tremendous relief to me, because I thought for sure I had to be the one that was worthy.  I wasn’t in heaven or under the earth, but I was on the earth, and I thought, ‘Well, you know, they can’t find him anywhere else, the pressure’s on me.’  What a relief to know that no one but Christ himself is worthy.  And Peter is going to discover that about himself, sleeping while he should be praying, awakening to his situation and handling it in the flesh, chopping somebody’s ear off.  Jesus fixing that.  And now we’re seeing him following Christ as it says, “afar off.”  And of course, what a picture of a backslider, not wanting to come into the light, not wanting to be seen, knowing in their hearts that Christ is the only way, they’re still following as Peter would say earlier, ‘Lord, to whom else should we go, who else has the words of eternal life?’  And how many times we see someone we know or love get in that position where there’s compromise in their lives, they’re doing things in the flesh, they’re following Christ afar off, and that’s where Peter is, at a distance.  Not as close as they should be.  They know that, they don’t want to loose track of him, so they make sure that they can see the light in the distance, but on the other hand they don’t want to get so close that there’s a full commitment.  And as this scene goes on, of course then we find Peter warming himself at the enemy’s fire.  That’s just the wrong place to be, trying to warm ourselves where people of this world find their comfort, where they warm themselves, whether it’s at the race track or Atlantic City or in the bar, or in the heroine den, or wherever it is, trying to warm ourselves where people of this world find themselves warmed is just the wrong place for us to be.  And we find Peter there.  And what’s happening of course is, in this scene here, the tribulum is dragging over Peter, it’s begun.  The sifting has begun, Peter is unaware, and slowly he’s being crushed, and the chaff is being separated from the wheat.  And Peter is becoming a smaller man in some senses, purer, but smaller.  By the time this evening is over, he won’t be so dependent upon himself.  And he’ll have a greater understanding of the grace of Christ.  He’ll be brokenhearted, and the Bible says a broken and contrite spirit is the acceptable sacrifice before the Lord.  Peter is discovering that he has the potential to fail, that he has the potential to deny the Lord.  He’s going to do the things that he never thought he could do.  But interestingly, Jesus didn’t pray ‘Don’t let Peter swear and curse.  Father, don’t let Peter follow afar off.  Father don’t let Peter warm himself by the enemy’s fire.’  He didn’t even pray, ‘Father, don’t let Peter deny me.’  He said, ‘Father, don’t let his faith fail.  Don’t let him change gods.  Don’t let him turn to anyone else, even in his darkest hour.’  And Satan is at work in this man’s life.  And the chaff is being separated from the wheat.  And I think Peter becomes so aware of that.  You know it’s interesting when he writes his Epistles, he writes to the Diaspora, which is the seed cast about or thrown about.  [Comment:  The Diaspora was composed of Jews who emigrated from the land of Israel, or of those who decided never to return after the Babylonian captivity because their lives were prosperous where they were.]  And I think he realized, as he goes through this experience, ‘Man, you know I was ground, you know, the chaff was crushed off of my life, and God scattered me that evening, I ran out weeping and crying.  But what good things ultimately were produced in my life because of his faithfulness.’  And Peter is able as he looks at the Church that was later driven out of Jerusalem by persecution, and scattered around the Roman world, to write them, to have that perspective to see them as seed.  [This later diaspora Pastor Joe is talking about would still be Jewish in ethnicity, but not the same as the Jews who made up the Diaspora in the classic historical sense.  They would be the Judeo-Christians making up the early Church.  See: http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/index3.htm to learn more about them.]  It wasn’t just persecuted believers, no, Peter saw these men and women had the living Christ in their hearts, and they’ve been scattered throughout the Roman world.  And Peter knows so well that work of God in his own life, that yes, the chaff had been crushed off, but the wheat belonged exclusively to the Lord and was never damaged, the kernel was there, the faith was never gone.  It was kindled and it came to life and brought forth a hundredfold. 

 

Peter’s Failure, What It Means, We’re Not Perfect Yet, We’re In-Process

 

A little maid comes to Peter.  Funny what the enemy uses, huh?  A little maid comes up and says (now we don’t know how little this little maid is), Peter’s sitting by the fire, there’s enough light there for her to see his face.  She looks at him and says, ‘Surely, you were with him.’  Peter, he denied, verse 57, saying “Woman, I know him not.”  Somewhere a rooster is stretching, getting ready.  ‘I don’t know who he is.’  Oh really?  Don’t you remember Peter had said to Jesus, ‘You’re the Christ, the Son of the living God.’  You’re the one, Peter, whom Jesus said “Blessed art thou, Simon bar Jonah, flesh and blood hath not revealed this to you, but my Father which is in heaven.”  Now he’s saying, ‘I don’t know who he is.  I don’t know who he is.’  “Woman, I know him not.  And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also one of them.  And Peter said, Man, I am not.” (verse 58)  Now again, you’re in trouble, know this, if you’re a backslider this evening, when you know you’re really in trouble is when the unbelievers are telling you that you’re a Christian.  When the unbelievers are saying ‘You’re one of those born-again’s, aren’t ya?  You’re one of those Bible-thumpers, aren’t you?  You’re one of those Jesus followers…are you the guy last year that was telling us we need to accept Christ, and now here you are warming yourself by the enemy’s fire, [sucking sound], you know, you’re smoking dope again, back in the bar, back in Atlantic City, ‘What are you doing, aren’t you one of them?’  And you’re saying, ‘No, no, that guy looks just like me, everybody says that to me, not me.’  Or, they’re saying ‘You were with him.’  ‘Well, technically, with him to you, and with him to me may mean I wasn’t with him in the sense that you thought I was with him [loud laughter], but I was only with him in the sense that you could say with, and if you look in the dictionary to the ninety-third definition of with, you may find a sliver of this, and I’m not lying when I say that I was with him.’  [laughter throughout this discourse] What’s so funny? 

 

Does Your Speech Betray You?---It Should

 

Technically, verse 58, “After a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also one of them.  And Peter said, Man, I am not.”  Now, the next time they’re going to say ‘Your speech betrayeth you, you’re a Galilean.’  He’s got a northern drawl.  In America if you hear somebody from Boston, you hear what they do, or somebody from the Bronx, or somebody from down South.  Even though we all speak the same language, you can tell by the inflections.  So evidently Peter must have been chatting while he’s around the fire, with all the enemies of the Lord, just talking, ‘The weather, oh yea, it’s cold, glad we’ve got the fire going,’ whatever, and his speech has betrayed him.  “And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him:  for he is a Galilean.” (verse 59)  ‘You’re accent, your speech betrayeth you’ it says in another Gospel.  By the way, your speech should too.  You know, I’m always amazed if I get around someone, especially in a difficult situation, 20, 30 minutes go by, and I don’t hear a curse word, I’m thinking ‘I wonder if this guy’s a believer.  There’s a little bit of pressure here, and I haven’t heard any beeps.’  I think your speech should betray you too. 

 

Final Sifting, Breaking Off the Chaff On Peter

 

‘Surely, you’re one of them, you’re a Galilean.’  “And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest.  And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.” (verse 60)  Now Mark tells us, who spent a great deal of time with Peter, that Peter began to swear and curse.  And what the Greek says is that Peter pronounced an anathema upon himself.  What he said, literally, was “I’ll be damned if I know him”, eternally damned.  And as soon as Peter said that, the next sound was Err, err, err, err errrrr!  Now the interesting thing is the Talmud tells us that there was a statute, an ordinance in that day that stated that no roosters or hens were allowed within the borders of Jerusalem, because the religious leaders considered them unclean.  [Comment:  According to the Law in Leviticus 11, they were not an “unclean” animal.  This was just another one of their legalistic laws.]  So imagine God’s sovereignty here, one rooster, sneaks into the city [laughter].  Does God have a bug that afternoon crawling in front of him, and this rooster, you know, God positions one rooster, gets him in just the right place, wakes him up just at the right time---and I know this rooster wasn’t listening to the conversation---when Peter says ‘Let me be eternally damned if I know him’, the third time God pokes this rooster and he goes Err err err err errrr!  And Peter, it says, remembered the word of the Lord.  Now, that’s a good thing to do, remember the Word of the Lord.  It says ‘the Lord looked at him,’ verse 61.  “And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.  And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” (verses 61-62)  The Lord turns and looks at him.  As Peter just pronounced damnation upon himself, the rooster crows, he remembers the word of the Lord.  Evidently he turns at that moment to look at where Jesus is.  As he looks, shockingly there’s Christ already looking at him, and their eyes meet.  And I don’t think Jesus is saying ‘Pew!  Go to prison and die with me, huh!?’  I don’t think that he is looking at him like ‘Boy oh boy’ or, ‘And I was going to make you the first pope?’   I don’t think there’s disgust.  In fact it’s a very interesting word “looked”.  It’s used when Andrew, in the beginning of John, goes to his brother Peter and says “We found the Messiah”, and he brings him, and Jesus says ‘Simon, thou shalt be called Cephas, Peter’, and changes his name to rock or stone.  And it says there that Jesus “looked at him”, “looked into him, looked into his being.”  It’s the same word here.  Peter turned and there was that old familiar look, and the Lord was looking right into him again.  And I think Peter, what he was aware of, right at that minute, the husk fell off.  Satan had drug the tribulum over him, he had been sifted and sifted, and right at that moment as he looked at Christ, the chaff fell off and all that was left was Peter, in all of his weakness and all of his frailty and all of his inability.  And I think he saw a look of marvelous love in the eyes of the Lord, I think he saw something that broke him completely at that moment.  And I think he realized that rooster was crowing about the sovereignty of God.  I think he realized the voice of that chicken was saying ‘God is on the throne.  He can sneak a rooster into Jerusalem, and set off the alarm clock whenever he wants to, because he’s seen the whole thing ahead of time, and Peter it all falls out just the way he says it will fall out.  And now Peter, what’s left?  No more swords, no more hacking people’s ears off, no more ‘I’m the toughest of the disciples’, ‘don’t call me stone, call me Rocky,’ no more denying and cursing and swearing.  Peter what’s left now?  You’ve denied, you’ve cursed.  What’s left?’  And I think that the look of Jesus was filled with compassion.  You know why?  It says ‘We don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with our infirmities.’  It tells us clearly that Jesus was 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness, tempted of the devil, with that tribulum drug over his life, grinding on him.  “If you are the Son of God”, and in the Greek there is a voice that is ‘If, maybe’, there’s a voice that’s ‘If, and it’s really not.’  And there’s a voice that’s ‘If, and you know that it is,’ which we would translate ‘since.’  And that’s what Satan said to Jesus in the wilderness.  He didn’t say ‘If you’re the Son of God,’ he said, ‘Since you’re the Son of God…I heard the voice from heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I’m well-pleased.’  Since you’re the Son of God, you’re the Big Shot, you’re the Big Deal, you’re God’s only Son, turn these stones to bread.’  Jesus was hungry, he was worn down, he was broken.  And Jesus knows that’s when Satan comes to us.  He doesn’t say ‘Oh, poor Christian, I hate to hit a man while he’s down, I’ll just wait till he gets on his feet again.’  No, that’s when he pours it on.  And Jesus had an answer for Peter, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone…”  Not, ‘It is written, I’m God Almighty, and I’m going to smoke you, Satan.’  No, “It is written”, and he answered for you and I, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”  Peter remembered the word of the Lord, the tribulum was dragging over him.  Christ turned and looked, and had already stood successful against the strong man, had bound him, on Peter’s behalf, had already prayed, and Peter’s faith was not going to fail.  He was struggling, he was broken.  It says that “Peter went out, and he wept bitterly.”  Peter would come to know Christ in a way that he had never known him. 

 

Our Failures Don’t Surprise The Lord---We’re Still In-Process Works of God

 

You know, it’s interesting, I think failure demands, for you and I as a Christian, when we fail, when we surprise ourselves---we don’t shock the Lord when we fail, you have to understand that.  He saw our entire life when he saved us.  He died on the cross 2,000 years ago.  The reason that it says he’s a high priest that’s touched with our infirmities, is because 2,000 years ago on a cross, Jesus Christ carried every one of your sins.  Not just yesterdays, but today’s and tomorrow’s.  And the reason he can be touched with your infirmity is he knows your infirmity better than you know your infirmity.  He knows my infirmity better than I do.  Because we can say ‘Oh I would never do that, Lord you can count on me.’  And we don’t know our failure a week from now or two weeks from now.  We’re still in-process.  We’re not completed.  And Jesus saved us, knowing all of that about us, knowing all of that about us.  And Peter would go on to discover, to a greater degree, and a greater perception, the grace and love of God, because he would need it in a greater way.  And this would open the door for him, as the husk is gone and he’s ground down just to the kernel.  He knows that he still believes.  He doesn’t believe in himself anymore.  He believes in the Lord.  It’s a bitter experience when you try to serve Jesus Christ and be a witness without his power.  It’s a bitter experience when you try to serve the Lord in your own strength, and in your own know-how, and with your own agenda.  You know, this same man, in the Book of Acts, will stand up in front of the same leaders.  And the difference is, it will tell us there, “Then Peter, being filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers and people and elders of Israel…”, and he goes on and preaches a sermon and 5,000 are saved.  Same man.  Only at that point, no longer depending on himself, no longer saying ‘Lord, you can count on me.’  At that point, a man filled with God’s Holy Spirit, and what a great lesson.  If the failure of Peter is great, the restoration is greater.  The pictures that come to us and the images and the record that God preserves for us is incredible.  This man Peter ran out into the night weeping.  John found him somewhere.  Because resurrection morning, [Jesus was actually resurrected around sundown three days and three nights after he was placed in the tomb, on a Saturday evening.] when they hear that he is risen, it’s Peter and John that go to the tomb.  John outruns Peter because he’s younger.  But John stops outside the tomb, it says Peter, in Peter fashion, blows right by John and runs right into the tomb, doesn’t care if he defiles himself on the holiday, runs right into the tomb and looks around.  Peter, a little more desperate, Peter wondering.  And when the two men on the Road to Emmaus discover that they’ve been walking and talking with Jesus, they run back to Jerusalem, and when they get back to Jerusalem they find the eleven gathered together, and they say to them, ‘Jesus has appeared to some of the women, and to Peter.’  Somewhere in the mix that morning, the Lord Jesus after his resurrection, came to Peter alone.  And when Peter saw him for the first time, Peter must have thought, ‘Ooooh, my name is mud, this is it, this is it, I said ‘Let me be damned, he’s gonna say OK, you’re damned.’’  And we know that morning Jesus was showing his hands and side to the disciples, saying, ‘Shalom, peace.’  And we know that he said to Peter, ‘Peter, this is what these holes are about.  This is what this wound is about.  This is what my Passion is about, Peter.  I can say Peace to you now.  It’s all covered.  It’s all paid for, it’s all gone, washed away, the blood of the Lamb.’  Again, so that Peter would write “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  I can’t wait to meet Peter. 

 

Jesus Before Caiaphas, Annas and the Sanhedrin

 

“And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.  And when they had blindfolded him, they stuck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?” (verses 63-64)  Again, on your own, Isaiah, chapter 50, verse 6 says that they ripped his beard out of his face.  He said ‘I didn’t hide my face from their spitting.’  Isaiah 52:14 says he was beaten beyond human visage.  “His visage was more marred than that of any man.”  So, again, you can imagine now, he’s blindfolded it says, he can’t see.  You know, again, in boxing, the punch you don’t see coming is the one that knocks you out.  Jesus is blindfolded, with soldiers battering his face, punching him, spitting on him, not even able to duck.  It’s hard to imagine I think what is taking place at this time.  “And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.  And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ?  tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:  and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.” (verses 65-68)  Now, from the other Gospels, we know this is Caiaphas.  What he’s saying to him is ‘Are you the Messiah?’  They tried to bring witnesses against him it says, but they couldn’t get their stories to agree, couldn’t get them to agree.  So then finally the high priest, Caiaphas himself says to him, ‘Just tell us plainly, and it says ‘he puts him under an oath.’  And we have that oath written about in the Old Testament, and once they put Christ under the oath, he would have broken the Law if he hadn’t answered honestly.  So he’s placed under the oath, Caiaphas said “I adjure thee by the living God”, placing him under the oath, “art thou the Christ, the Holy One of Israel.”  And he’s saying to him, and here’s Jesus with spit running down his face, battered and beaten, and mockingly Caiaphas is saying to him ‘Are you the hope of our nation?  Are you the One that age after age has been waiting for, are you the One that all of the Prophets have spoken of, are you the One that will one day give us our nation, and every man will sit beneath his vine and his fig tree, are you the One that will bring in an era when all of our spears and swords will be beaten into plowshares and pruninghooks?  Are you the One that will bring in the Kingdom?’, mockingly, of course.  Because here he is beaten and spit upon.  And he puts Jesus under the oath so that he has to answer, because he wants to bring a charge of blasphemy against him.  And he wants to be able to take him to the Romans, to Pilate, and accuse him of sedition.  Because Pilate will not put Jesus to death because Jesus is a religious leader.  They had to bring a civil charge against him to get the Romans involved.  They wanted to get the Romans involved because the Romans had taken away the right of the Jews to exercise the death penalty.  They were no longer supposedly able to execute people, even though they would stone Steven in their anger, they were not allowed to execute the death sentence.  And I think it was about 15AD, the historians tell us around 15AD that that law was passed.  That the Jews were not allowed to execute the death sentence.  When that law was passed, the Talmud tells us that the high priest went through the streets of Jerusalem wailing and weeping, because he said the Word of God had been broken.  Because Jacob, in Genesis 49 on his death bed while he was dying, prophesying over his sons, when he prophecied over Judah, said The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come.”  i.e.  ‘The sceptre, the right to rule and reign shall not depart from Judah until the Messiah comes.’  And because the Romans had taken away the right of the Jews to execute the death sentence, the high priest felt that their right to rule had been taken away, and Shiloh had not come.  And so he went through the streets of Jerusalem weeping and wailing, that the Word of God had been broken.  But little did he know, that in Nazareth in a carpenter shop, was a young boy, that the hopes and dreams of all the ages were settled upon---that in fact, the Messiah had come.  ‘Are you the Christ?  tell us.’  “And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:  and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.”  But, here’s your answer, “Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.” (verses 67-69)  He says, ‘Caiaphas, let me put it this way, the next time you see me’ and Matthew says he will be coming with the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.  “Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God?  And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.  And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.”  Yea, you say that I am, he’s affirming.  And it tells us at that point, the high priest tears his garment. 

 

Luke 23:1-12

 

“And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.  And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.  And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?  And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.  Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.  And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.  When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean.  And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.  And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad:  for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.  Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.  And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.  And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.  And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together:  for before they were at enmity between themselves.”

 

Jesus Before Pilate and Herod

 

“And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.  And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.”  Now that will make any politician listen up.  ‘This guy says we shouldn’t pay taxes.’  “And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?  And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.”  Or, ‘Yes, that’s what you’re saying.’  “Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.”  Now John gives us a bit more on this issue.  It says, “Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus and said to him, Art thou the King of the Jews?  And Jesus answered him, saying, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it to thee?”  and Pilate said, “Am I a Jew?  Your own nation and your chief priests delivered you unto me.  What have you done?”  And Jesus answered “My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered unto the Jews.  But now is my kingdom not from hence.  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then?  And Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king.  To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice.  And Pilate said unto him, What is truth?”  And Pilate then goes out again to the people.  He’s not finding any fault with Christ.  Pilate’s wife will come to him this day and say to him, ‘Don’t have anything to do with this righteous man.  I’ve suffered many things of him in a dream this night.’  So Pilate’s wife will come to him in the mix, and say, ‘Hey, I’m freaked out, I had a dream, this is a righteous man, don’t have anything to do with him.’  Pilate wants to get Jesus off his hands.  It’s a political problem.  “Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.  And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.  When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean.  And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, [Herod Antipas] he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.  And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad:  for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle by him.  Then he questioned with him in many words; but he [Jesus] answered him nothing.”---Silence was the answer---“And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.  And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.  And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together:  for before they were at enmity between themselves.” (verses 4-12)  So I guess something good comes out of it.  They send him to Herod Antipas.  Herod Antipas is desirous to see him. 

 

Herod Antipas, Who He Was

 

Herod Antipas had gone to Rome, where his brother Philip was living.  Philip had taken his niece, Herodias, his brother’s daughter, to be his wife.  So Philip had married his niece.  When Antipas was there, in Rome, Antipas and Herodias hooked up.  Herodias said to Antipas, ‘If you’ll get rid of your wife, I’ll come back to Galilee with you.’  Antipas gets rid of his wife, who was an Arabian [actually, and Edomite] princess, and starts a war, because her father’s so offended.  But Herodias comes back to the area of Galilee with Herod Antipas, who is her other uncle.  So now, Antipas is not only in adultery with his brother’s wife, but he’s also with his niece from his other brother.  And this women will ultimately go with someone else, because she sees a better angle.  Her daughter, Salome, dances for Antipas when he’s half pickled, he’s half drunk, he’s so impressed with the dance, he says, ‘I’ll give you anything you want, to the half of my kingdom’, Rome would have been tickled pink to know he was giving half of the territory to a belly-dancer.  And Salome will go to her mother Herodias and say ‘What should I ask for?’  The mom says ‘I want the head of John the Baptist on a platter’, because John the Baptist, the greatest prophet who had ever lived [and Jesus’ cousin] by the words of Jesus, and the last of the Old Testament prophets that prophecied until John.  John the Baptist said, pointed his finger, imagine this, publicly, at Herod and Herodias, and said, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife’ and he publicly chastised this ruler, who probably felt it was his own private business.  Well, John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit before he was born [just as Jesus was].  John the Baptist was led of the Spirit as he grew up in the wilderness, prepared for the day of his ministry.  John the Baptist was the greatest prophet that ever lived.  So when I look at the scene, deciding which one of them was right, it’s a no-brainer.  God allowed John the Baptist to name that sin, and bring it out into the light.  It was not something that was someone’s private business, because it was a sin against God, who is the One who established order in the first place, who is the One who has the right to rule the universe and say what adultery is.  David in his repentance will say “Against thee, and thee only have I sinned and done this great evil in thy sight.” (see Psalm 51)  Antipas was a man who was curious about John, he knew he was a righteous man, it said he heard him gladly.  And yet, under the pressure of someone else, political pressure, for the sake of his pride, put John the Baptist to death, crossing his own conscience.  By this time, because of that kind of behavior, in contrast to Peter, who goes out and weeps bitterly, an interesting contrast is set before us.  By this time Antipas is so hardened that the very Christ, the very Messiah himself is brought before his eyes.  Pilate being under such conviction, he wants to get Christ off of his hands.  Next week [in our next study] he’ll wash his hands, if we’re still here, and say, ‘I’m done with this matter’ washing his hands in front of everyone.  And Pilate wasn’t done with it.  The Apostle’s Creed for centuries would say ‘crucified under Pontius Pilate, dead and buried, rose again on the third day…’  He didn’t wash anything off his hands.  And interestingly, here’s Antipas, who hears finally that Agrippa, the brother that he stole the wife from, is made king by (which one of the Caesars?) Caligula, makes Agrippa king, gives him the title king.  Herodias is so ambitious, so she says to Antipas, ‘Well you need to go to Rome too, and ask Caligula to give you the title of king, because now the guy I used to be married to is a king, and you ain’t a king.  And I want to be married to a king.’  And he goes there and argues with the Caesar to take the title king.  Not only is he not called a king, Herodias then leaves him, he ends up because of his cruelty and his hardness of heart, known for his cruelty by this time, and the heart of a human being can harden, he  ends up banished to Gaul, in France, dies there, penniless, no title, no money, no Herodias.  And you see, every thing that you cross your conscience to get, you will lose.  Every single thing that you step away from the Word of God to get your hands on in this life, you will lose.  You know, here are these two, yes, Peter denied the Lord.  Peter broke down under the pressure, as Satan drug the sifting tool over him, the tribulum.  But Peter, unlike Antipas, goes out into the night, his heart breaks, he weeps, running to find Christ again, the morning that he hears he’s risen.  Antipas, who entertained John the Baptist, knew he was a righteous man, yet for women, drunkenness, the pleasures and the wealth of this world, turns away from his own conviction and his own conscience, finally ends up face to face with Christ himself, and because of the hardness of his heart, mocks him, makes fun of him, turns away, ends up with nothing, dying, going to hell forever.  [Comment:  That last statement, “going to hell forever” is debated amongst the various parts of the Body of Christ, which comes under the category of the “unsaved dead.”  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm to view some of the other interpretations on this subject.] 

 

What Trouble In Our Lives Is Meant For

 

I want to encourage you.  If you find, in your own life, as I do in mine, you know, my heart is set towards the Lord.  My heart is a heart that will say to him ‘Lord, you can count on me, though everyone else fails, I’m ready to go with you, prison or death.’  Oh I understand Peter so well.  And when I say those things to him, I mean that with all sincerity, ‘Lord you can count on me.’  But I’m always so shocked, all it takes is a flat tire for me to say ‘Lord, what are you doing this to me for?  I would go to prison and die for you, and you give me a flat tire?’  It’s amazing for me to examine myself and see how easily the chaff starts to get broken off when you drag a little bit of trouble over me.  And I end up saying ‘Oh yea, Lord, that’s right.  Without you I can do nothing, without your strength, without your power, without your Spirit.’  What a gracious process, and how he upholds us, knowing so well the methods of the enemy, knowing so well the struggles that we go through, knowing so well our own potential to deny.  And yet, Matthew, Mark and Luke all give us record of the denial of Peter.  I don’t think any of them did it because they wanted to embarrass Peter.  I think Peter said ‘Write it in.’  What a powerful lesson, of how he foresees our falling and our weaknesses, what a powerful lesson of how he cares for us before we discover our own frailties. What a powerful lesson for every saint in every age of the Church, of restoration, of his love, of his enabling us even in ministry after that, to speak to others of his faithfulness and of his care.  Maybe you’re a denier this evening.  And maybe you feel terrible about it.  And I pray you do.  But this is how you tell the difference between condemnation and conviction.  They both feel terrible, if you haven’t noticed.  Condemnation is from the devil, conviction is from the Holy Spirit.  They both feel bad.  The way you tell the difference is condemnation drives you away from the Lord, and conviction drives you to the Lord.  If you as a Christian are struggling with your own weakness, your own frailty, you feel like ‘oh’, running out into the night weeping.  Look, if the bearing of the weight of your own humanity is driving you away from the Lord, you know the devil’s involved, he’s condemning you.  “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  The Bible says ‘If we confess our sins he’s faithful and just to forgive us, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’  Your mother didn’t call me and tell me you were going to be here tonight, I don’t know your story.  Don’t sit here and say, ‘Somebody must have told him I was coming.’  I have no idea, I know I was coming, and that’s all I needed to know.  Because there’s enough Peter in me to go around.  I encourage you, he loves you, he knew before you did of your failure.  He’ll be waiting on the other side of it.  You’ll see more of him than you have seen before, because you’ll need to know more of his grace and of his love.  Because what you’ve known to this day is not sufficient to carry your through the new things you’ve discovered about yourself.  And he’s still filling us with his Spirit and empowering us, and enabling us to stand up, human as we are, and proclaim his goodness and his love.  If you’re here tonight and you have pushed him away, and pushed him away, and pushed him away, for whatever this world has to offer.  Even under conviction you said ‘I know this is true, but…’ Take care that you don’t get to the place where your heart is hardened, and hardened, and hardened to where you find yourself even mocking Christ [like Herod Antipas did].  Don’t let that happen to you.  Don’t let yourself come to that point.  You know, the sun both hardens clay, the same heat can soften something or harden something.  Make sure that tonight as we’re here, and we’re looking in the Word of God, if the Lord is speaking to you, and you’re remembering the Word of the Lord, some rooster is crowing in your mind, or some rooster is crowing in your heart, know that that’s the Lord.  Nobody knows what’s going on in your life, and if he’s beckoning you, saying, ‘Now turn back.’  You know in your own frailty, you know your own weakness, now that Satan has brought you to the point where you’re seeing yourself for what you are, know that all you need to do is come, all you need to do is come, and he’ll receive you, and cleanse you.  I’m going to have the musicians come…[connective expository sermon given on Luke 22:54-71 and Luke 23:1-12 by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]

 

Related links:

 

Who were the Judeo-Christians who made up the early Church?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/index3.htm

 

To read a harmony of the Gospels on Last Six Days of the life of Jesus Christ, see:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm 

 

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