Peter Denies Jesus - Matthew 26:69-75

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 26:69-27:23

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Peter Denies Jesus - Matthew 26:69-75

Simon Peter, the leader of Jesus' disciples, was a man of whole-hearted faith, but fear and self-protection made him deny his connection with Jesus. This all happened as Jesus predicted it would (Matt. 26:21-23; cf. Luke 22:31). The story of Peter's forgiveness and full restoration by Jesus is found in John 21:15-19. See WCF 11.5, 17.3, 18.4; WLC 195.

Matthew 26:75

Wept bitterly. Peter genuinely regretted and repented of his failure. Peter's repentance was different from Judas' remorse that does not lead him back to Jesus (Matt. 27:3-5).

Matthew 27:1

Plotted against Jesus to put him to death. Starting in Matt. 12:14, the Jewish leaders have been plotting to kill Jesus. Even though they believed Jesus to be a blasphemer, under Roman rule they did not have the authority to put anyone to death. Instead, they needed to get Jesus in trouble with the Roman Empire authorities. This was why they took him to Pilate (Matt. 27:2).

Matthew 27:2

Pilate the governor. In Jesus' day the Jewish people and Palestine were ruled by the Roman Empire. Pontius Pilate was the Roman-appointed governor in charge of the Jewish area.

Judas' Remorse - Matthew 27:3-10

Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus' original twelve disciples (Matt. 10:4) and was the one who betrayed Jesus to the Jewish leaders (Matt. 26:14-16). After Jesus was handed over to Pilate, Judas regretted what he had done, recognizing that Jesus was innocent and that he was going to be killed. Rather than repenting and returning to Jesus like Peter and the other disciples did (Matt. 26:75, 27:16), Judas killed himself. This showed a remorse but not a true repentance.

Matthew 27:11

King of the Jews. Pilate, the Roman governor, asked Jesus if he was the king of the Jews. Pilate was mocking Jesus by asking this but Jesus affirms that it is true. The Jewish leaders will also mock Jesus with this statement (Matt. 27:42). This claim will become the charge of treason against the Roman Empire that is put above Jesus' head when he was crucified (Matt. 27:37).

Matthew 27:12

He answered nothing. Jesus was unwilling to respond to the false accusations of the chief priest and elders but he affirmed to Pilate that he was the true king (Matt. 26:63; 27:14).

Matthew 27:15

custom of the governor to release one prisoner. Each year Pilate released one Jewish prisoner, probably to help appease the Jewish people who were oppressed by the Roman Empire and did not like Pilate's rule.

Matthew 27:18

Because of envy. Pilate rightly perceived that the chief priest, elders, and scribes were jealous of Jesus' popularity and power (Matt. 7:28-29; 21:5; 26:5).

Matthew 27:19

I have suffered much today because of a dream. As happened around Jesus' birth, so too at Jesus' death did God sent dreams to reveal the truth of who Jesus was. God revealed to Pilate's wife that Jesus was innocent.

Matthew 27:24

Washed his hands in front of the crowd. The public washing of hands was a symbolic act that communicated that Pilate disagreed and was not responsible for Jesus' death.

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