In his excellent devotional book Remember and Return, John MacArthur uses the Apostle Peter’s denial of Christ as an example for us all, as to how it is, even with the best of intentions, that we can fall into sin. In one sentence he sums up Peter’s descent into sin. He wrote, “Peter had boasted too much, spoken too soon, prayed too little, acted too fast, and wandered too far.”
Remember when Jesus said, “You will all fall away because of me this night”? (Matthew 26:31). Peter’s response was, “Even though all may fall away…I will never fall away.” (Matthew 26:33).
Later, in the same chapter, Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him that night. To which Peter reacted, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.”
Peter’s next step was his prayerlessness. Jesus had taken Peter, James, and John into the garden with Him and asked them to watch and pray. They fell asleep.
When trouble came, in the form of a mob that was sent to arrest Jesus, the impulsive Peter drew a sword and sliced of the ear of Malchus, servant of the High Priest.
Luke sums up the descent of Peter by saying, “Having arrested Jesus, they led Him away to the house of the High Priest, but Peter followed at a distance” (Luke 22:54).
In the next few hours, Peter would deny Jesus three times. Following the final denial, a rooster crowed, bringing to Peter’s mind the words of Jesus from earlier in the evening. Luke goes on to record something even more devastating to Peter, “Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And he went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:60-62).