Bible Study Lessons

Peter Denies Jesus


Once during the American Civil War, a Confederate spy was captured while carrying important documents. The officers knew he hadn’t gathered the information himself and wanted to know who was responsible for it. So, after the spy was court-martialed and blindfolded for execution, the officer in charge made an offer: “If you’ll tell me who gave you this information, you can go free.” The spy quickly replied, “If I had a thousand lives, I would give them all before I would betray a friend.” Peter thought he would give a similar response when it came to dying for Jesus, but he failed. Study Mark 14: 66-72 to learn how to avoid failing like Peter and what to do if you find you have denied the Lord.



First, ask the Lord to give you understanding and wisdom and to help you live out what you see in this passage.

Read Focus Verses

Read Mark 14:66-72 as if you're there watching and listening to what is happening.

Repeated Words

Repeated words often give us a clue about the main theme of a passage. What word about what Peter did is repeated three times in today's passage?

Keyword - Deny

When you mark a repeated word it stands out and helps you visually see it as the backbone of a passage.



Mark the words deny and denied in Mark 14:66-72.

Keyword - Jesus

If you've been working through the Gospel of Mark with us, you've been marking each time Jesus is named or referenced.

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Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

Mark each time Jesus is named or referred to in Mark 14:66-72.


Who is the one denying in these verses?

Who Else?

Who is Peter denying?


Where is Peter?


What did the servant see Peter doing in verse 67?

This Is One of Them

What did the servants say to and about Peter in verses 67, 69, and 70?


What did the servant in verse 70 say was evidence that Peter really was one of the disciples?

Peter's Answer

How did Peter respond the first two times in verses 68 and 70?

Peter's Third Denial

How did Peter respond the third time in verse 71?

The Rooster

What happened in verse 72?


What did the rooster's crowing remind Peter of?

Peter's Response

How did Peter respond to that reminder according to the end of verse 72?


In Previous Episodes…

Action series sometimes give a brief recap of what has happened in previous episodes to set the scene and build the suspense. Let's do something similar by looking back briefly at a few key scenes that get us to today's passage in Mark.

Earlier in the Day

Let's look at what happened earlier in the same day as today's passage. Check out what happened in Mark 14:27-31.

Not Me!

In your own words, what happened in Mark 14:27-31?

Sleeping Not Praying

A few minutes later, Jesus asked Peter to pray with Him. But Peter kept falling asleep instead. Look at what Mark 14:37-38 says.

Another Warning

What did Jesus say to Peter in those verses.


Mark 14:50 includes Peter in the "all."

A Safe Distance

Then Mark 14:53-54 tells us a little more.

What Really Happened

Despite Peter's bold predictions, what did he actually do when Jesus was arrested?

Drama Intro

These verses give you a brief sketch of what has happened in the previous episodes. If you were writing a radio drama or podcast about today's passage, how would you weave these background verses together to make a brief but informative and powerful introduction?

I'll Die for You

Thinking back through these previous scenes, you can see that Peter knew what to expect. What had Peter said he was willing to do for Jesus when Jesus said Peter would deny Him?

The Spirit Is Ready

Jesus didn't doubt Peter's sincerity or intention to stand by Jesus. In fact, Jesus told Peter He knew Peter's spirit was ready. What did Jesus say was weak in Mark 14:38?

Fear Without Spiritual Preparation

So if Peter's problem wasn't that he was totally shocked or that he had never truly intended to do right in the first place, what do you think caused him to fail in the moment of testing?


Has there been a time in your life when you have allowed fear to overwhelm you and you haven't done what you intended to do?

The Problem with Fear

If you think about it, would you be afraid if you really trusted that God was always going to do what was best for you in every situation?

Unbelief and Doubt

So, at its core, what is fear?

Don't Be Afraid

That's why God tells Christians over and over to not be afraid. Read some of the verses in this list and look for the reasons they tell Christians not to fear.

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What are some of the reasons God gives Christians not to be afraid?


If Peter had remembered those truths and promises and obeyed the command to not be afraid, how do you think it might have changed what he did?


You can imagine how scared Peter might have been when servants were trying to identify him as a friend of a Man being tried and sentenced to death. But think about how many reasons Jesus also had to be afraid. How were the responses of Jesus and Peter different?

You Don't Have To

Hebrews teaches that Jesus was like us, but never sinned so that we would be encouraged that He understands us and follow His example. How can His response to fear give you hope that you don't have to fail like Peter did?


Has the Lord ever used something very natural - like a rooster crowing in the morning - to remind you of something He's said?

Peter's Response

What does Peter's response to realizing that he had failed despite his best intentions and Jesus' warning tell us about him?

Not the End

Thankfully, that's not the end of the story. Look at what John 21:15-19 says.

Jesus and Peter

What does Jesus do for Peter in John 21?

Part of the Bible

In fact, Jesus chose Peter to be the leader of the early church and had him write two books of the New Testament.

Keep It Fresh

As you read a few of the lines he penned - 2 Peter 1:12-15 - think about Peter's experience of thinking he was prepared for something and failing.

Remember on Purpose

What did Peter's experience teach him about the importance of remembering what God says?

Judas vs. Peter

Unlike Peter, Judas - another of the 12 disciples - did not repent even though he also regretted what he had done. 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 explains the difference.

Godly Repentance

What do these verses teach about godly repentance?

Make It Personal

So, if someone is discouraged or despondent, thinking that something they've done means God will never take them back or use them, how can you use Peter's story and these verses to encourage and help them?


Look back at what Jesus told Peter in Mark 14:38 would have prepared him to stay faithful.

Watch and Pray

How did Jesus tell Peter to prepare for this moment?

Faithful Under Pressure

So, if a Christian wants to stay faithful to the Lord even under pressure or while they're afraid, how should they prepare?

Another Detail

Luke 22:60-62 gives us a little more detail about today's event.

Jesus' Look

What does Luke add?

About Jesus

What does it tell us about Jesus that He stayed strong even when He knew Peter was denying Him?

Once More

Read Mark 14:66-72 once more in light of what you've studied.

In Your Own Words

If you were summarizing this passage as the "in the last episode" intro for the next passage, how would you briefly state what happened in your own words?



In what kinds of situations are you most tempted to do wrong (or not do what's right) because of fear?

Watch and Pray

Will you commit to spend extra time in prayer asking for strength, remembering what God has said, praising the Lord for who He is, and recommitting to trust Him before those times you're most tempted to give in to fear?

Practical Reminders

Do you allow God to use practical things to get you to think of Him and remind you of what He says? Are there any you've been ignoring? How does your response(s) need to change?

Repentance, Restoration, and Service

If you feel like God can't use you because you've failed Him, will you take the example of Peter to heart and repent in a godly way, accept God's forgiveness, and find ways you can serve the Lord?



We hope this study plan has helped you understand how you can prepare to stand strong for Jesus even when you're afraid and has challenged you to repent and accept God's forgiveness when you fail.


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