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When The Lord Looked At Peter 

What do you do when He whose eyes are like a flame of fire catches you breaking a promise?

Luke 22.61

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 15, In the year of our Lord, 2013



  1. How do you react when someone catches you doing wrong? 
    1. When your eyes meet, what happens inside your heart?
    2. The dread intensifies,
      1. if he caught you doing something
      2. that you affirmed confidently that you would never do!
  2. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ
    1. had this very experience and
    2. the horror of it was intensified because it happened with the Lord.
      1. Before he became the bold apostle of Christ,
      2. Peter went through a time of great brokenness, but
        1. it made him a better man afterward.


  1. Luke 22.31-34 – The Boasting of Peter

    31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me” (Luke 22.31–34).

    1. Satan wanted Peter, even as Satan wants you!
      1. Satan can approach God and make requests to test people.
        1. Job 1 shows the hatred of Satan for the servants of God, and
          1. that Satan does not believe that saints like Job, Peter, and you
          2. serve God for sincere reasons, but
            1. that you have ulterior motives for your devotion, and
            2. that God has made it easy for you.

              9 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1.9–11).

        2. Job 2 shows us that Satan does not give up easily, but
          1. he will make one attempt after another, and
          2. he made another request to have Job and to sift him as wheat,

            4 So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 2.4–5).

    2. Satan wanted to sift Peter as wheat,
      1. believing that he was nothing but chaff, and
      2. wanted to see what kind of man Peter was.
        1. Was he really a stone as his name implies, or
        2. was he a fair weather friend to Jesus.
      3. When Satan sifted Peter, what did the devil find?
        1. Did he find wheat?
        2. Did he find chaff?
        3. Did he find a mixture of both?
    3. Jesus implied that Peter would fall, and
      1. Peter noticed it.
      2. Knowing that he would return,
        1. Jesus offered encouragement ahead of time,
        2. explaining how Peter could help others.
      3. Jesus prayed for Peter that his faith not fail,
        1. revealing that his faith would be tested severely, and
        2. he would fail momentarily.
    4. Peter determined to remain loyal to Jesus,
      1. reassuring the Lord that he was ready to follow Him
      2. even if it meant going to prison or death.
    5. The other Gospel accounts show an adamant Peter.
      1. Listen to Matthew 26 and hear Peter’s fierce loyalty to the Lord,

        33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples (Matt 26.33–35).

      2. Mark 14 presents a vehement Peter,

        29 Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.” 30 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” 31 But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all said likewise (Mark 14.29–31).

      3. John 13 also shows us an extremely confident and loyal Peter,

        36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” 37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake” (John 13.36–37).

    6. The Lord loved Peter, but
      1. the Lord also knew the truth:
      2. Peter’s loyalty would weaken very soon.
    7. Then several hours and events past.
      1. Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
      2. The Jews arrested Him and put Him on trial.
  2. Luke 22.54–61 – The Look of Jesus 
    1. We come back to Luke 22 and discover that Jesus was right,

      54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” 57 But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed (Luke 22.54–60).

      1. Though he followed at a distance,
        1. Peter did follow the Lord
        2. so that it seemed that Peter would still be true to his promise of loyalty.
      2. Then the first denial took place.
        1. One denial is bad, but can be understood in a threatening situation.
        2. A person can be caught off guard,
          1. though that does not excuse denying Jesus, but
          2. we tend to go easier on such a person.
      3. Then the second denial happened, and
        1. Peter should have realized what he had done.
      4. An hour passed and the third denial happened.
        1. Plenty of time had passed for Peter to think on what he had said.
        2. He should have remembered his promise of loyalty.
    2. Then the Lord did something very simple,

      61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Luke 22.61).

      1. The mere turning and the simple look at Peter sent a sword into his heart.
      2. Jesus did not have to speak a word. His face expressed no emotion.
        1. Peter knew what he had done.
          1. His denials had not been in secret, but
          2. Christ had heard and seen everything.
        2. And Peter knew it.
    3. Peter knew that the Lord had spoken the truth. Truly,

      12 …the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb 4.12).

      1. Peter felt the slicing edge of the sword of Christ,
      2. laying open the heart of the future apostle.
        1. The future preacher thought on the conversation
        2. that had occurred earlier that night.
        3. The memory hurt. Badly.
          1. Peter now saw himself as less than loyal.
          2. Peter realized that when the Lord spoke
            1. it was the truth,
            2. even if Peter found it impossible to believe.
  3. Luke 22.62 – The Conversion of Peter

    62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22.62).

    1. Peter went out embarrassed and ashamed.
      1. Guilt ripped the man apart.
        1. How could he continue to face the Lord?
        2. How could Peter keep watching the trial,
          1. knowing that he had been on trial and
          2. did not know it, and
          3. had been found guilty?
      2. This began the conversion of a broken man.
        1. He remembered the word of the Lord,
        2. which caused Peter
          1. to empty himself completely
          2. of himself.
    2. Peter wept bitterly.
      1. He had a broken heart.
      2. He knew the horrible thing he had done.
        1. This is where the Lord wanted Peter to be.
          1. Isaiah 57 makes a promise to us
            1. that the great and high God
            2. will be with just such a person,

              15 For thus says the High and Lofty One
              Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
              “I dwell in the high and holy place,
              With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
              To revive the spirit of the humble,
              And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
              (Isa 57.15)

          2. David let us know in Psalm 51
            1. that he came to this realization
            2. after the guilt of his own sin stung his heart,

              17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
              A broken and a contrite heart—
              These, O God, You will not despise.
              (Psa 51.17)

      3. The Lord destroyed Peter’s high self-image, because
        1. we are not to concentrate on ourselves, but
        2. we are to
          1. die to ourselves and
          2. live for Him who died for us.
  4. The New Man Peter 
    1. Acts 1 shows a different man.
      1. He took charge,
      2. renouncing the sin of Judas and finding his replacement.
    2. Acts 2 shows a fearless preacher,

      23 “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2.23).

      36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2.36).

      1. These very people instigated the death of Jesus.
      2. They could easily have Peter crucified.
    3. Acts 3 shows no sign of Peter letting up,

      13 “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses (Acts 3.13–15).

      1. The Jews did not refute Peter by bringing up his denials of the Lord;
      2. they could see that Peter was a different man.
    4. Acts 4 shows Peter’s fearlessness before even the rulers,

      8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: 9 If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.8–12).

      19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4.19–20).

    5. Acts 5 shows a man willing to be beaten for preaching Jesus Christ,

      29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. 31 Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5.29–32).

      40 And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ (Acts 5.40–42).

    6. Acts 12 shows that Peter finally went to prison for Jesus,

      2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread. 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover (Acts 12.2–4).

    7. From John 21, Jesus showed Peter that he would finally be able to die for Jesus,

      18 “Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me” (John 21.18–19).


  1. My heart goes out to Peter. 
    1. He should not have denied Christ, but
    2. where was the rest of the world during the trial of Christ.
      1. Yes, Peter often got himself in trouble, but
      2. it was only in his zeal for the Lord,
        1. whereas, others seemed not to care for Jesus, and
        2. they went about doing the things they would much rather be doing.
  2. Are we ever like Peter? 
    1. Peter spoke no error when he promised loyalty to the Lord.
      1. It was just that Peter did not know
      2. the difficulty of the trials coming his way.
    2. Have you become a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ?
      1. Does that not imply you have died to yourself and
      2. now you live for Him?
    3. Have you sung, “I’ll Be a Friend to Jesus” (number 312)?

      They tried my Lord and Master,
      With no one to defend;
      Within the halls of Pilate
      He stood without a friend.

      The world may turn against Him,
      I’ll love Him to the end,
      And while on earth I’m living,
      My Lord shall have a friend.

      I’ll do what He may bid me;
      I’ll go where He may send;
      I’ll try each flying moment
      To prove that I’m His friend.

      To all who need a Savior,
      My Friend I’ll recommend;
      Because He brought salvation,
      Is why I am His friend.

      I’ll be a friend to Jesus,
      My life for Him I’ll spend;
      I’ll be a friend to Jesus,
      Until my years shall end.

      1. Is the point that we should not confess to the Lord our undying loyalty?
      2. No!
        1. Confess, but
        2. be loyal and
          1. realize that your loyalty
          2. will be tested by the devil.
  3. The Lord has turned and He is looking at you.
    1. What does He see?
    2. Does He see one of His disciples?