Simon Peter: The Denial

Scripture: John 18:25-27

 

Jesus has been arrested, and He is taken to a midnight trial. Simon Peter and the “other” apostle have followed behind the crowd. The apostle John does not speak directly of himself in his gospel. He refers to himself three times in this chapter. He uses three phrases, which biblical scholars agree that he is speaking of himself.  These three phrases are as follows:

1.   Another disciple

2.   That disciple

3.   Other disciple

Peter is allowed to be near the door because John speaks to the individual who is in charge of the door. There is a crowd, which has gathered around a fire. Peter blends into the crowd.

At this time, a slave girl thinks she recognizes Peter as being a follower of Jesus Christ. Of course, Peter denies his relationship with Jesus. His denial is also recorded in verses 25 and 26. The rooster crows after Peter denies Jesus Christ for the third time. He remembers what Jesus said in John 13:38. Peter weeps when he hears the rooster crows.

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Causes of Envy and Jealousy

We will first look at surface causes of these twins.

 

Envy:

–desire for selfish gain

–comparison

–emphasis on personal rights

–unrealistic expectations

Jealousy:

–lack of trust

–low self-image

–guilt

Situational Setups

Envy

-affluence (money)

-achievement (honors, awards)

-appearance (looks, clothes, etc.)

-abilities (talents)

-advancement (promotions)

-activities (trips, social invitations)

Jealousy

-sibling rivalry

-friendships

-marriage relationships

-adult parent/child relationships

-competitive work environment

-legalistic church environment

“I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man’s envy of his neighbor.” Ecclesiastes 4:4

 

The Characteristics of Envy and Jealousy

  • Envy–burning desire to have–coveting what another has: empty hands that crave to be filled; usually involves two people.
  • Jealousy–burning desire to keep; possessive of what one has; full hands that fear being emptied; usually involves three people

 

What we need to discuss now is what the “surface symptoms” are. This portion of the study will help in identifying any personal characteristics we may possess.

 

Envious

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)

Encourages envy in others: boastful

Needs to put down others: critical

Vengeful feelings toward others: resentful

Internal pain over the success of others: begrudging

Overachiever: competitive

Unfulfilled desires or cravings: greedy

Self-exalting: demanding

Jealous

“Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4)

Judgmental of others: performance-based acceptance

Exclusive expectations: not allowing outside relationships

Anxiety/anger over potential loss: threat of losing relationship

Leaning on the identity of others: emotionally dependent

Overly possessive of others: controlling spirit

Unable to trust God: insecure

Suspicious of the normal behavior of others: distrustful

 

Disguises for Masking the Traits

  • Making an issue of the unfairness of life.

Pretending apathy or indifference to people or situations

Feeling self-pity

Avoiding problems or people that could produce envy or provoke jealousy

Idolizing certain people by placing them on an unreachable pedestal

Offering false praise and congratulations

Dropping unnecessary, negative information about another

Projecting jealousy or envy onto another

Developing a superior attitude toward another

Becoming a martyr

“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:16

 

Envy and Jealousy Characteristics

  • Envy–burning desire to have–coveting what another has: empty hands that crave to be filled; usually involves two people.
  • Jealousy–burning desire to keep; possessive of what one has; full hands that fear being emptied; usually involves three people

 

What we need to discuss now is what the “surface symptoms” are. This portion of the study will help in identifying any personal traits we may possess.

 

Envious

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” (Proverbs 14:30)

Encourages envy in others: boastful

Needs to put down others: critical

Vengeful feelings toward others: resentful

Internal pain over the success of others: begrudging

Overachiever: competitive

Unfulfilled desires or cravings: greedy

Self-exalting: demanding

Jealous

“Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (Proverbs 27:4)

Judgmental of others: performance-based acceptance

Exclusive expectations: not allowing outside relationships

Anxiety/anger over potential loss: threat of losing relationship

Leaning on the identity of others: emotionally dependent

Overly possessive of others: controlling spirit

Unable to trust God: insecure

Suspicious of the normal behavior of others: distrustful

 

The Definition of Envy

What is Envy?

Envy is resenting the advantage of another, with a desire to possess the same advantage.

Envy is coveting what another has.

The Latin word for “envy” is invidere, which means, “to look at with enmity.” American Heritage Electronic Dictionary

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17)

Question: Is envy always wrong?

Yes. Scripture never portrays envy in a positive light. God is never depicted as an envious God.

“Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time, they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’ For he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him” (Matthew 27:15-18)

 

The Roman Trial Part One

John 18:28-32

The only common elements between the Jewish trial and Roman trial are the accusers and the accused. The reason for the two trials is that the Jewish court had lost the power to administer the death penalty by the first Christian century. Because the Jewish leaders sought the death penalty, they had to turn Jesus over to the Roman government in order to full this desire. Jesus had two verdicts against Him.

This brings to light the unique and fascinating situation. In this one instance Jesus was tried, on the one hand by a court of heaven. This trial sought to apply the revealed law of God. On the other hand, by a court of man is seeking to apply what is generally thought to be the most highly developed form of law we know.

It is probable that the most humane system of law was the Jewish trial. Jewish respect for human life was high. It was practically impossible to execute a person under the jurisdiction of a Hebrew court. Roman law was excellent. It was comprehensive in coverage, and its systemization of formal statues, elaboration of court procedures, and the adding of penalties.

Once again, Walter Chandler summarizes the issue concerning Jesus in the following manner: “Jesus was arraigned in one day, in one city, before the sovereign courts of the universe; before the Sanhedrin, the supreme tribunal of a divinely commissioned race; before the court of the Roman Empire that determined the legal and political rights of men throughout the known world. The Nazarene stood charged with blasphemy and with treason against the enthroned monarchs represented by these courts; blasphemy against Jehovah who, from the lightning-lit summit of Sinai, proclaimed his laws to mankind; treason against Caesar, enthroned and uttering his will to the world amidst the pomp and splendor of Rome.” This is a mouthful to say the least! History records no other trials like these. [Chandler, Trial of Jesus, vol. 2, 6-7]

It would seem that the trial before Pilate would be simpler than the Jewish trial. This is not the case at all. The Hebrew trial has its own puzzling elements. The question that arises from this trial is one of rejection by His people. They had in their possession the scriptures concerning the prophecies about Jesus. The rejection is understandable. He was hated because He revealed the leaders’ sin. Pilate did not hate Jesus. Pilate respected Jesus. He was acquitted by Pilate. Pilate pronounced Jesus as innocent. Nevertheless, he eventually turned Jesus over to be crucified.

Frank Morison has rightly said, “We do not get rid of the mystery of Christ when we bring Him to the Roman bar; we increase it tenfold.” [Morison, Who Moved the Stone?, 43]

The Jewish Trial Part Two

-The second phase of the Jewish trial was before Caiaphas. Annas had sent Jesus to him. He realized that his attempt at interrogating Jesus had failed. The trial before Caiaphas was significant. This trial is described at length by the Synoptic writers. Note Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65 and Luke 22:54.

Various witnesses were brought forward who could not agree on their testimony. Their words were dismissed. This trial was moving toward a swift motion of acquittal. In all truth, it should have moved to this result. Note that Caiaphas himself intervened illegally to demand of the prisoner: “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God” Matthew 26:63. Jesus was under no obligation to respond. He refused this official challenge in the name of Jehovah. He said “Yes, it is as you say,” and He was immediately convicted of blasphemy by a unanimous vote.

-The third phase of the Jewish trial took place the following morning at daybreak. Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1 and Luke 22:66-71. The questioning of the previous night was reiterated formally, and a judgment was secured. This involved the entire Sanhedrin, which was the highest court of Judaism.

We shall look at the Roman trial next.

 

The Jewish Trial of Jesus Part One

John 8:12-14

Walter M. Chandler is a former member of the New York bar of lawyers. He is the author of an excellent book on the trial of Jesus. He has written, “These [other] trials, one and all, were tame and commonplace, compared with the trial and crucifixion of the Galilean peasant, Jesus of Nazareth.” He is speaking such trials as the Watergate trial among others. The trials we may think of were before earthly courts. The trial of the Nazarene was before the high tribunals of both heaven and earth; before the Great Sanhedrin, whose judges were the master-spirits of a divinely commissioned race; before the court of the Roman Empire, which controlled the legal and political rights of men throughout the then known world.

It is of great importance that we study the trail of Jesus because it was in haste. Its elements, when studied in the light of ancient law, reveal that they were done illegally. Such questions as the following are raised:

-Was Jesus guilty as charged?

-What were the charges against Him?

-Were proper procedures followed or were they violated?

Here are some questions that will be discussed in our study.

First, we must look at the arrest. This subject has been covered, but I would like to mention a few more facts. This took place on the evening before the Jewish Passover in the year A.D. 30. It happened on a Wednesday, April 5. It would have been late. The approximate time would be between eleven or twelve o’clock at night. It happened through the agency of a band of temple officers or Roman soldiers. Their guide was Judas.

Second, there was a Jewish trial. This had three separate parts:

-The primary hearing by night was before Anna. This is what John records. He uses the phrase “the high priest” which may mean both Annas and Caiaphas. Caiaphas probably presided over the second trial. The possible reason for this can be seen in the fact that according to Jewish law, the high priest held his office for life. The Romans saw this as a problem because it gave too much power to the individual. The Romans did remove individual who were not to their liking. Caiaphas was the Roman appointee. Annas (the elder high priest) would have been recognized as the true high priest by the Jews. It is apparent that John describes the appearance of Jesus before Annas. At this appearance, Jesus refused to testify against Himself. He was unjustly struck by a minor court officer.

The Capital Case

Jesus’ case was a capital case. Such cases were heard by a plurality of judges. Later tradition mentioned a minimum of twenty-three. The rule was that no individual could legally act as a judge in a capital case. This law did not stop Annas from exercising his political power and interrogate the arrested individual privately. Annas may have excused himself by a law that those tried by the supreme Sanhedrin for misleading the people first had to be tried by two lower courts. This law may be Pharisaic in nature. This law may have come into existence later than the first century. It is doubtful that Annas is attempting to follow any law. The priestly aristocracy was predominantly Sadducee. They would not follow the Pharisees’ rules. They had to please the Romans instead of the Pharisees. Therefore, the fact concerning Annas’ conduct in relationship to a law may only be a conjecture.