The story of Peter’s denial of his Master is recorded in all four of the Gospels. There are some differences of expression in each version, so it will not be tautology if we read all four of them; and if we read them attentively, we shall get a clear view of the whole incident.
Mat_26:31-33. Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
This was a very presumptuous speech, not only because of the self-confidence which it displayed, but also because it was a flat contradiction of what the Master had just said “All ye shall be offended because of me this night.” Peter thought he knew better than Christ did, so he said, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.”
Mat_26:34. Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow,-
The cock-crowing was a recognized mark of time; it was just before the rising of the sun “This night, before the cock crow,”-
Mat_26:34-35. Thou shalt deny me thrice. Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.
Here, again, he contradicts his Master straight to his face.
Mat_26:35. Likewise also said all the disciples.
Mat_26:57-58. And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
Mat_26:69-75. Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. 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. And again he denied with an oath I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 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.
Now let us read Mark’s account, which will specially interest you if you remember that, probably, Mark wrote under the direction of Peter, and, no doubt, received many of his facts from Peter. You will notice how severe is this description of the whole scene; it is just snob an one as the chief actor in it would be sure to give as he recalled his fall and restoration.
This exposition consisted of readings from Mat_26:31-35; Mat_26:57-58; Mat_26:69-75Mar_14:53-54; Mar_14:66-72Luk_1:54-62; and Joh_18:15-18; Joh_18:25-27.