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Unstoppable Simon?

Unstoppable Simon?

Sermon Transcript

Do you ever find yourself getting in the way? You start out with the best intentions but end up disappointing yourself and others? Join Pastor Greg Triplett as we take a look at Matthew 26:31-75 and discover what we can learn about ourselves and about Jesus from Peter's denial of Christ and the events leading up to it.



  • Good intentions…Great ambitions…Worthwhile resolutions
  • Do you ever find yourself getting in the way? (like Simon Peter – why we love him)
  • Look at Simon Peter…also take a look at ourselves

Fisherman named Simon was riding high

  • Followed Jesus after miraculous catch of fish
  • Walked on the water
  • Simon  Peter “Rock” – “on this rock I will build my church” (felt unstoppable)
  • But the fisherman who was riding high, was only so far off from his lowest low

Lord’s Supper…30 After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

(Matthew 26:31ff.) – Bombshell!!!

31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’ 32 But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”


I. Peter’s Promises

33 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.”

34 Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a 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.” All the disciples said the same thing too.

“I will never fall away…even if I have to die with You, I will not deny you.”

…noble, admirable, courageous, confident (is this not the correct answer?)

Story: My kids came with confidence! – Hudson, “This is a jacket.”


  1. Who Peter is arguing with! Peter is saying, “No, Lord.”
  2. Peter isn’t listening (or understanding)!
    • Framework for understanding
      • God & Truth
      • Our experiences, understanding, false views, comforts
    • The tension arises because Peter does not like what Jesus is saying…
      • “Truly” – “amen”
      • “You will deny me” (I’m your guy…followed you…walked on the water…rock)

Zechariah 13:7 – “Awake, sword…I will strike down the shepherd…and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.”

Do you ever not like what Jesus is saying to you?

  • Fails to understand Jesus – Jesus’ plans are often beyond our comprehension
    • God is orchestrating the greatest work in human history
    • Might Jesus have plans for you in 2023 that are beyond your realm of possibility?
  • Fails to understand himself – the sheep of the flock shall be scattered…deny me 3 times…Peter is more fragile than Peter would like to admit

Is your ______ (self-confidence, pride, busyness, inflexibility) getting in the way of listening to what Jesus is actually saying?

Peter’s Promises – Confident, resolute, but misguided, and Peter is going to fall short, but first…he’s going to encounter more of his own human frailty


II. Peter’s Power

36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

  • Peter, James & John (inner circle)
  • Jesus grieved to the point of death (I’m guessing this was rare)
  • “Remain here and keep watch with me”
  • Gregoreo – to be awake, alert --> “remain here and stay awake with me”
  • “With Me” -met(a) emou”

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

  • 39 – once again we see the grief and distress Jesus is in --> disciples are asleep
  • 40 – “could not stay awake with me for one hour?
  • 41 – “stay awake and praying (imperative) that you may not enter into temptation
  • 41 – “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”

Story – bathroom remodel…the tile that I couldn’t get right! (anger, frustration)

The flesh is weak!

  • Hurting
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

(42-46) Asleep…two more times!

Peter’s Power – Weakening…Burn bright & burn out!

Do you find yourself                            (burnt out, bitter, joyless, quickly angered) because you are running on your own power?


III. Peter’s Plans

 – Judas, accompanied by large crowd with swords, betrays Jesus with a kiss and the crowd grabs Jesus and seizes him.

51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear.

Comical! - Peter’s Plans – Impulsive & ill-conceived (ready, fire, aim)

52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”

  • “Put the sword back into its place” --> Christianity that is passive to militant
  • “those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword”
  • 12 legions = ~60,000 angels
  • Earthly approach vs. heavenly approach

Greg’s plans – finish the bathroom in 2022…but beginning to see the bigger picture

Jesus saw the bigger picture!

55 At that time Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as you would against a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.

Peter’s Plans are Impulsive! Ready, Fire, Aim…but more so, human, not divine

Are your plans – and how you address your problems – more human or heavenly?

Peter – promises, power, plans


IV. Peter’s Breaking Point

57-68 – Jesus taken to Caiaphas the High Priest, Peter follows at a distance and sits down in the courtyard outside of the trial. Many false witnesses come forward, but the charge that sticks is the claim in v. 61, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” Caiaphas demanded an explanation, but Jesus keps silent. The High Priest then asks him point blank, “…tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus replies, you have said so yourself, and you will see me sitting at the right hand of God.” They charged him with blasphemy, they demanded his death, the spit on him, slapped him, and beat him with their fists.

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.” 71 When he had gone out to the gateway, another servant-girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man.” 73 A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; for even the way you talk gives you away.” 74 Then he began to curse and swear, “I do not know the man!” And immediately a rooster crowed.75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, “Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

Peter’s Breaking Point is just part of the story…

  • While Peter fell short on His promises…Jesus followed through on His
  • While Peter’s power ran out…Jesus relied a power greater than anything on earth
  • While Peter’s plans fell apart…Jesus continued to submit to the plans

You can choose to run into 2023 relying on your own promises, power and plans…

Or you can ask God to help you rely on…

  • His promises
  • His power
  • His plans

Will you rely on your Promises, Power, and Plans or God’s?


  • Desire
  • Repent
  • Yield