Bible Study Question – Matthew:26:69-75
What betrayal took place in this same courtyard on Wednesday? Matthew 26:3 (aulhn actually translates courtyard not palace, though it was the most probably the palace courtyard).
Who was it that challenged Peter about his relationship to Jesus? Why is Peter’s response so surprising, especially in light of who challenged him?
How did Peter respond to that second accusation (v. 72)? How was it different from his first response? Why? Matthew 5:33-37
About an hour later (Luke 22:59), Peter received a third accusation. How was that accusation different from the first two (v. 73)? Who made the third accusation (John 18:26)?
How did Peter deny Christ’s divinity? Verse 74 (Matthew 16:16)
What occurs that reminds Peter of Jesus’ prophecy that he will deny the Lord three times? *
What did Jesus say about loyalty to God? Matthew 10:37-39
Do you think the penalty for disloyalty to the Lord described in these verses should still be in effect today? Deuteronomy 13:6-10
Two of Jesus’ disciples were disloyal to him in the last days, but with quite different outcomes. Who were they? Why were the outcomes so different?
Why was it necessary for Peter to face this ordeal? He was the first to profess Jesus as his Lord Messiah, the only Apostle brave enough to attempt to walk on the stormy sea to Jesus, and he was ready to defend Jesus with his life.
Peter may have thought he was a failure as Jesus was led away to die, but that wasn’t the end of the story! What happened to Jesus after He was crucified? Romans 5:8-11.
What does Jesus do instead of rebuking Peter? John 21:15-17
Peter means “a rock or a stone” and Simon means “reed.” Why did Jesus call him by his old name?
Why did He ask him 3 times?
How can faith be sustained in adversity?
What are some ways we deny Christ?
*There is no article associated with the Greek word for cockcrow in verse 74. The word “cockcrow” is Greek is formed from the Greek word for “cock” alektor and the word for “sound” phoneo. In Greek alektorophonia was a trumpet signal that announced the end of the third watch and the beginning of the fourth and last night watch. The “cockcrow” Peter heard must be the trumpet blast signaling the end of the third watch that was given at the Temple (Mishnah: Sukkot, 5:4; M. Yoma, 1:8) and at the Roman fortress called the Antonia. Mark records that Jesus told Peter he would betray Him before the cockcrows twice Mark 14:30, and in the high priest’s courtyard, as Peter denied Christ the third time Mark records Peter heard the second “cockcrow” Mark 14:72.
In 1st century AD Jerusalem, as in all the cities of the Roman Empire, the nighttime hours were divided into 4 time periods called “Watches”:
|#1: Evening watch||Sundown to 9PM|
|#2: Midnight watch||9 PM to Midnight|
|#3: Cockcrow watch||Midnight to 3 AM|
|#4: Dawn watch||3 AM to Dawn|
The end of each watch, and the beginning of the next was signaled by a trumpet blast. The Third Watch was from Midnight to 3 AM. At the close of the Third Watch a signal was given by the Roman guards at the Antonia Fortress next to the Temple. A trumpet was blown to signal the end of the Watch and the change of the guard. The Romans called the trumpet blast at the end of the Third Watch the “gallicinium,” in Latin, “cockcrow.” If Jesus was identifying the time of Peter’s last denial at the time a rooster crow was heard, it could not be a specific time “roosters are notoriously unpredictable in their crowing. There was also a rabbinic ordinance against keeping chickens within the walls of the Holy City because it was feared that their scratching would produce “unclean things,” thereby violating the purity laws (J. Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus, page 47, note 44). However, if Jesus was referring to the gallicinium in Latin or alektorophonia in Greek, His time reference was to the trumpet signal of the “cockcrow” that was a precise military signal, and Peter denied Christ at3 in the morning (Anchor Bible: The Gospel According to John, page 828).6) Jesus spoke of the four night watches in Mark 13:35: So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming: evening, midnight, cockcrow or dawn … (NJB).