A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Peter denies he knows Jesus


Peter's denial of ChristThe soldiers seized Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and dragged him off to the High Priest’s house for questioning. The night was cold and a group of servants and officials gathered round a fire in the house’s courtyard. Peter crept in amongst them, desperate to know what was happening but afraid to identify himself.

Suddenly, a servant girl asked,

‘You’re not one of that man’s followers, are you?’

Peter was afraid and quickly denied being a follower. But another asked him the same question. Again, Peter said he wasn’t.

But a third person said,

‘Surely I’ve just seen you with Jesus in the Garden?’

Peter was really frightened then and said he did not know Jesus – and at that moment he heard a cockerel crowing. He remembered what Jesus had predicted – that Peter would deny knowing him before the cockerel crowed – and he realised what he had done.

The story illustrates:

  • God’s choice of ordinary people to do his will: Peter had been one of the first to understand who Jesus was, but now his fear defeats his love for and his faith in Jesus.

Bible References

John 18:15-18, John 18:25-27
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