The text for this lesson is Mark 14:26–72
- Though we, like Peter, deny Jesus and His gifts, Jesus does not deny us because we belong to Him as baptized members of His Body, the Church. Instead, He forgives us and welcomes us back.
- Law: I deny Jesus when I fail to acknowledge Him and live as if I do not know Him.
- Gospel: Even when I deny Him, Jesus will never turn His back on me, never refuse me, and never stop loving me. Instead, He draws me back, forgives me, and treats me as if I had never denied Him.
- Just a few days before today’s account, Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the shouts of hosanna. Often we call that day Palm Sunday and celebrate with palms and processions. It is also called the Sunday of the Passion, and in many churches around the world, the Passion account from one of the Gospels is read (Mark’s Gospel would include chapters 14–15). What is the “Passion,” and why is it commemorated in this way? How does this fit with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1–10)?
- What do you think of Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s denial (Mark 14:26–31)? Is Jesus setting Peter up for an “I told you so”? What are we to think of Peter’s emphatic refusal to believe Jesus’ prediction?
- Read the descriptions of Jesus being distressed, being sorrowful, and praying that “this cup” be removed from Him (vv. 33–36). Does this make you wonder if Jesus ever wavered in the face of temptation? How does the text actually reassure us that no such wavering occurs?
- Look at Mark 14:42–65. What is similar about verses 42 and 50? Who has betrayed Jesus, and who remained supporting Him? Later, at His trial, who is the only one to finally testify on His behalf?
- Finally, we have the account of Peter’s denial (vv. 66–72). Who challenges him? What threat do they really present to Peter? What does this show us about Peter’s state here at the end of the trial?
- What does Jesus’ prayer in the garden teach us about our own life of prayer?
- Read Luke 12:8–9. What does Jesus say here about those who deny Him? Read the verses that follow (vv. 10–12). What can we rely on to save us from our denials and failures?