Mark 14:27-31,66-72 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. Previously Jesus had announced that there was a traitor among them. Now what startling announcement does He make? Why will this happen? See Mark 14:27 (printed below)

Jesus said to them, All of you will desert me, for it is written, I will strike the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered. (Mark 14:27)

Jesus now announces that all His disciples will desert Him; not one of them will remain faithful to Him and stand with Him in His hour of trial. This will happen in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy of Zechariah 13:7.

2. Following this announcement, what promise does Jesus make in verse 28 (printed below?) What does this tell us about Jesus?

However, after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee. (Mark 14:28)

In verse 28 Jesus promises that, following His resurrection, He and His disciples will be re-united in Galilee. Here is a testimony to the loving graciousness of the Lord Jesus. Although His disciples will forsake Him, He, nevertheless, will not forsake them. On the contrary, He will forgive them and restore their fellowship.

3. How does Peter respond to Jesus’ startling announcement? See Mark 14:29-31 (printed below) What does this tell us about Peter?

But Peter said to him, Although all the others may desert you, I will not. (30) Jesus said to him, I tell you the truth, today—this very night—before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times. (31) But he insisted vehemently, Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you. And all the others said the same. (Mark 14:29-31)

Peter adamantly insists that even if all the other disciples desert their Lord, he will not. Peter’s response testifies to his love for Jesus as well as his determination to remain faithful no matter what he may encounter.

4. When Peter actually has the opportunity to confess his allegiance to Christ, what does he do? See Mark 14:66-72 (printed below)

While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the maidservants of the high priest came by. (67) Seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus. (68) But he denied it, saying, I neither know nor understand what you are saying. Then he went out to the entryway; and the rooster crowed. (69) When the maidservant saw him, she again began to say to those who were standing around, This is one of them. (70) But he again denied it. After a little while, once again those who were standing around said to Peter, Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean. (71) But he began to invoke a curse upon himself and he swore to them, I do not know the man of whom you speak. (72) Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him, Before the rooster crows twice, you shall deny me three times. And he broke down and wept. (Mark 14:66-72)

Three times Peter is given the opportunity to confess his allegiance to Christ and each time he fails. On the third occasion he even refuses to utter Jesus’ name, invoking a curse upon himself he declares, “I do not know the man of whom you speak.”

5. What do you think accounts for Peter’s failure to carry out his promise to be faithful to his Lord?

The attitude we see exemplified in Peter is that of self-confidence. Peter was sincere, but he made two very common and vital mistakes: he overestimated his own ability to stand for Christ in the hour of trial and he underestimated the awful powers aligned against him in the hour of trial. If, like Peter, we rely upon ourselves when confronted with temptation, it will inevitably result in failure. Because of the assorted pressures brought to bear against us in the hour of trial or temptation, we must trust in Christ and rely upon Him if we are to successfully combat temptation.