This priceless lesson that cut to his heart woke Peter up to the reality of Christ.
Are you familiar with the events that shall transpire in these last days just before Christ's second advent? If not, do not start by listening to what most preachers and ministers tell you is going to happen. Cast aside the traditions of men and begin studying His Word and begin to "hear His voice" for as He said in Mark 13:23, "Behold, I have foretold you all things." That's right! It is all written in the Word of God and it shall all happen exactly as it is written, even as all the events surrounding Christ's first advent happened precisely on time and according to the minute details written in the law and the prophets.
So let's return to Matthew 26 and learn a great lesson about remembering that which is written and foretold of in the Word of God. Jesus has just told His disciples to rise up, as in to wake up spiritually, and "let us be going" for behold, "he is at hand that doth betray me" (Mat. 26:36). In other words, it was now time for the betrayal and delivering up to take place that He had foretold them about so many times! And while He was still speaking to them, lo, here comes Judas with an ignorant, religious mob sent forth by the chief priests and elders of the people.
This is by no means the Roman army! These are poor, ignorant, and misguided religious zealots who are merely representatives of the chief priests and elders of the people! Watch and observe carefully how they conduct themselves and you will learn a great deal about the religious community in these last days who in their ignorance also represent the false high priest, Satan himself. And by the way, the crude and dull picks and clubs these guys show up with are no match for the swift sharp two-edged sword of the servants of God! But alas! The will of God must be fulfilled... so listen and learn!Matthew 26:47
And while He yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Betrayed by a friend! Imagine that! Of course one should know that "it is written" concerning these last days that during that final hour some of God's servants shall be betrayed and delivered up by those closest to them. Remember these words of Christ... and then it shall be no surprise to you when the Word of God comes to pass exactly as it is written. Perhaps then you will be mature enough in grace and in the power of His Word to be able to say "forgive them Father, for they know not what they do!" Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is He: hold Him fast.
Again, "it was written" (Zech. 13:6) that it would be a "friend" who would betray Jesus Christ... and so it was Judas, his friend, who gave Him the kiss of death.Luke 21:16-19
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
The Greek word for "hated" is "miseo" and means "persecuted"! That's all right. You know the plan and that persecution comes with the territory (Jn. 15:20), and you also know the reason it must be this way! And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
Will you remember these words of Jesus Christ when the time comes? He just said not one hair on your head shall perish. We even have the type of the delivering up given to us in Daniel chapter three with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo, who were tossed into the fiery furnace and emerged without an hair singed! Know the plan, the will of our Father, and believe and do the Word of God. But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
Wait patiently upon the Lord and trust in Him. In your patience possess ye your souls.
Now here comes Judas who walks right up to Jesus and gives Him a big friendly greeting!
What Jesus said by "wherefore art thou come" was not a question but rather an elliptical expression meaning "Carry out thy purpose" (see note in the Companion Bible on page 1373). Meanwhile, scripture after scripture is being fulfilled as it is written.Matthew 26:49
And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took Him.
Yes, the "familiar friend" who betrayed Him even ate the communion bread with the Lord Jesus Christ.Psalm 41:9-13
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
His enemies did not triumph over Him. Satan only fulfilled the scripture in "bruising His heel" (Gen. 3:15) when He was hung on the cross, but now the old serpent's head is soon coming off! And so it is that we have the victory in Christ. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
 By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.
Now watch and observe what happens when they begin to take hold of Jesus. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever.
 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
Behold! Look! See! Take notice! Who was this disciple who picked up his sword and stretched out His (own) hand to defend and prevent his Lord from being taken... which must needs happen according to the plan of God? That's right! Lovable ol' Peter again, that one who so passionately loves the Lord Jesus Christ but is still having trouble remembering the words He told him over and over again, like about how He must be delivered up and "... suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day (Matthew 16:21)". In fact, Jesus had JUST told him to "wake up" for now is the time of the betrayal and "while He yet spake" Judas showed up! Hello! The apostle John documents that the disciple who drew his sword was Peter and he fills in a little more detail for us in his gospel so we can get a clearer picture of what is taking place and add some depth to the teaching we are to learn from all this.Matthew 26:51
And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.
By the way, what in the world was Peter doing with a sword in the first place? Had he spent three-plus years with the Lord Jesus Christ and not been told he wasn't supposed to carry a sword? Of course not! Carrying or possessing a sword (or a gun) for protection and self defense is perfectly fine and very Biblically principled. Our Father expects us to use wisdom and common sense and when an enemy comes against us to harm us or our family we are to stand and defend ourselves and our loved ones, both individually and nationally. So don't let some fool twist the scripture that refers to turning the other cheek when a brother smites you because he is offended, into becoming easy prey for hardened criminals.
Remembering and taking heed to the words of Jesus Christ during the time of the delivering up of God's elect in these last days is a paramount lesson we are to learn from this. We must not only become knowledgeable of our Father's will but we must then patiently keep Christ's commands and allow that plan to unfold as it is written. In Peter's case, it was not yet time to draw the two-edged sword and take off the ears of Satan's own. That time is at the end of this age, but first Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the greatest gift God ever gave to man must go to the cross and pay the price for our sins so that through His shed blood repentance and salvation is made possible. You "see", that is why the Son of God came at the first advent, but when He comes again at the second advent He "will open His mouth" and it will be with the sword! It is written! Haven't you read?John 18:10
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus*.
He is that same One they are about to have beaten and scourged and crucified!Rev. 19:11
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.
 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.
 And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.
He is bringing His saints, His warriors, His heavenly army with Him to smite the nations and rule with Him for a thousand years! And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
There is definitely going to be some "smiting" with the sword then! It is written... so you can count on it! And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
We learned this in our study of Matthew 24 & 25, i.e. that Jesus Christ returns with ALL POWER and authority. And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Here is what Jesus says to him:
It was not yet time for His servants to wield the sword and slay the enemies of Christ, for the scriptures must first be fulfilled declaring that the Lamb must be slain.Matthew 26:52
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
Jesus then said that those that take up the sword (to spiritually slay the children of God) shall "perish" by the sword! And so it shall be that all those who lead their flocks into the captivity of the beast and lead them to whore after Satan, the spurious messiah, shall be slain with His sword! So wait patiently upon the Lord, watching and praying always, until the time is fully come.Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.
It is even written that those fallen angels, those "kings" who come with the false high priest (Satan as the false-christ), shall be slain when Jesus Christ returns (Rev. 11:13). Then He and His legions of saints will take care of the whole bunch of them.Rev. 13:10
He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Does this sound like a man who is fearful of dying? You "see", Jesus Christ, was the King of kings and Lord of lords standing right before their eyes and He could have taken care of this whole bunch of followers of men's traditions in a heartbeat by calling forth that heavenly army, those twelve legions of angels, right there and then. ("12" in Biblical numerics is the number of governmental perfection.) But again, that was not the time... for the scriptures must needs be fulfilled in that He came first to die on the cross and offer salvation to whosoever will! Consider the tremendous love and discipline to the Father's will being displayed for our ensample!Matthew 26:53
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and He shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Jesus Christ reminded them that He sat with them and taught them openly in the temple and they did not lay hold on Him then (of they could not have even if they had tried). But now here they come all fired up by the lies of the high priest and his cronies and seek to take Him... and now they can for the time has come according to the scriptures. In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
The sheep scattered... that the scripture of the prophets might be fulfilled. This is given for our "eyes to see" to know that the scriptures concerning these last days shall also be fulfilled exactly as they are written. But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled.
Behold! Would you look at that! The religious leaders of the people have all assembled themselves in the House of God... no, no... in the palace of the high priest (next verse), the chief kenite, just like they will all be when the false messiah comes and assembles his crowd in his palace! And do you know what they are doing there? They are plotting to KILL the Son of God! And they that had laid hold on Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Now let's observe and learn a lesson from Peter!
Peter is keeping a low profile and trying to see what is happening inside the high priest's palace. That is good for us for he is going to get a real good look at the delivering up! We need to keep this in mind even as a type for it is written in Matthew 10:17 "But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge (to quarrel, dispute) you in their synagogues." In Mark 13:11 you are instructed not to become anxious nor to premeditate about what you will say! Remember the words of Christ and do not deny Him, but rather be patient and wait on Him "in that hour" and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you... as it is written! Mark 13:11 "But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost." But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
Now let's see what the chief priests and elders and all the council are up to!
Some religious community we have here! They are seeking "liars", false witnesses, expert spin meisters, so that than they can bring forth charges and can kill the Living Word of God! It seems they had plenty of false witnesses show up too! Hmmm! This is only speculation, but surely there had to be "something in it" for that many liberals to try out as liars! In other words, the council must have been offering some hefty monetary reward if so many false witnesses came, wouldn't you think? Well, they paid Judas didn't they? Nevertheless, they finally found two false witnesses they could rely on... to appear credible that is! Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put Him to death;
 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
So the religious community headed by the high priest, Caiaphas, whose name means "depressing", have found themselves a couple of scripture analysts and here is their evening report:Deut. 19:15
One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.
The very first thing we learn about the old serpent in the Book of Genesis is that he is more subtle (sly and cunning) than any other person God ever created. He so smoothly spun and twisted the Word of God in Eve's ears in Genesis chapter 3 with such believability that she soon believed that what God meant by "Thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:17) was "Ye shalt not surely die" (Gen. 3:4)! He also added to and took away from the 91st Psalm in Mat. 4 when He tempted Christ in the wilderness. Therefore, be on guard whenever one of his own quotes scriptures because you know the old saying, "Like father, like son!" You see, Jesus Christ did NOT say what Mr. Two-Faced said he said!Matthew 26:61
And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
Here is what Jesus actually said:
Notice He didn't say "I am able to destroy the temple of God..." at all! He said "(You) Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Further research shows that He was not even talking about a building, He was talking about the temple of His body, i.e. the body of Christ.John 2:19
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
So these two wit-lesses have purposely brought false witness against the Word of God.John 2:21
But He spake of the temple of His body.
The scriptures in Isa. 53 are being fulfilled and yet these religious leaders of the people are clueless!Matthew 26:62
And the high priest arose, and said unto Him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
 But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Again, Jesus knew full well that at His second advent they would get what's coming to them, i.e. receive their just recompense, lest somehow they suddenly repent and turn to Him. Then they will know that the Lord hath spoken! Remember, He could have called the full kingdom and the 12 legions of angels down upon them right then and there! Here are two scriptures Jesus was quoting from in His response to them calling Him the Christ, the Son of God! Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
What a day that will be when they see Him coming in the clouds!Psalm 110:1
A Psalm of David.
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
 And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Well, that settles it! So the high priest, Mr. Depressing, did a very religious thing and rent his clothes. He then turns to all his mindless "yes men", convincingly tells them that they have just heard "blasphemy", and asks for their "independent" assessment of the situation.Matthew 26:65
Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
The phrase "He is guilty of death" actually means "He is deserving of death?" Of course, they did not have the authority to actually sentence a man to death, but they now start to get real brave and high and mighty. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Yeah, big men! Here is what they do:
Spiritually speaking, this is actually a good picture of what the religious community does to the Word of God this very day! They base their belief on the traditions of men which have come from false witnesses calling themselves scholars who have twisted the Word of God and then they spit upon the Word of God with their lies and smite Him with the palms of their hands, i.e. with the works that they do. Remember who is behind all of this and who it is they are "from", as in represent! Just like Caiaphas the high priest, Satan shall come in these last days and send his representatives to bear false witness and deceive our people. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
Nevertheless, Jesus Christ our Lord will suffer the humiliation and take the stripes and be tried and brutally scourged and crucified on a cross and shed His innocent blood because of the tremendous love our Father has for His children, even for those who now spit on Him... for they too are His children. For it is His will and His desire that none should perish (along with Satan in the lake of fire) but that all should come to repentance and return back to His loving arms. 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Now Jesus is mocked by this holy, religious, self-righteous crowd.
Not a pleasant sight, is it? Now remember Peter has been witnessing all this that has been transpiring in the palace of the high priest. What words do you suppose were ringing in Peter's ears right now? Well it isn't written but one would think "He is guilty of death!" might hit him pretty hard! Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
Let's see what happens when he now is identified as one of His disciples.
Oh boy! Here's where the rubber really meets the road. Perhaps Peter can just envision being subjected to what Christ is going through because surely Peter's fleshly emotions are running scared. Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
Now before we get too carried away, let us be "awake" to the fact that Jesus Christ told Peter that He would deny Him three times before the cock crow. The reason is so that we learn the conclusion of the matter in verse 75, which is "to remember the word of Jesus"! So understand that what Peter does he must do to fulfill the Word of God for our benefit that we might see and understand that the words of Jesus Christ are real and meaningful and when He says He has foretold us all things, He means it! And we are to "take heed" to how it is "going down" in these last days and be mentally and spiritually prepared for it to happen EXACTLY as it is written. Mark 13:23 "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." 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.
This time Peter emphatically swears that he does not know the man! And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
Uh oh! His Galilean accent must be giving him away for he certainly does not appear to be speaking the language of a holy man at this point, does he? Maybe a little cursing along with the swearing up and down will convince them that he does not know Jesus Christ! 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 bewrayeth thee.
Now he gets it! Now he remembers the words of Jesus! But how devastating this must have been when Peter suddenly realized what he had done!The words of Jesus Christ are true and accurate and he hadn't been taking heed to what the Word of God foretold him. This priceless lesson that cut to his heart woke Peter up to the reality of Christ. Has it helped you? Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
The good news is that although it was a heart rending experience for Peter, he now remembered, as in finally "heard", the Word of God! Our Father has a plan for the end of this age. It is written! Therefore take heed, He has foretold us all things! Do not try to take matters into your own hands but rather keep His Word and do things Father's way and if you are one of His elect who is chosen and destined to be delivered up to give His witness and testimony, you will remember the word of Jesus and will not deny His name! 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.
... to be continued.
E-mail address - email@example.com
If you would like to have your essay
as part of the American Wisdom Series
submit your manuscript to Rhine Publishing Co
at the address above for consideration, or e-mail us
at the address shown on our home page.
Click Here to Return to "The American Wisdom Series" home page.