Talk 5
The Tale of Two Trials
Matthew 26:57-75

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Discussion questions

Warm up

  1. What would do you if faced with a choice: to confess Christ and die, or to deny him and live?

Read Matthew 26:57-75

Looking at the text

  1. The guilt and sentence have been decided. Jesus is presumed guilty and worthy of death. What seems to be the one accusation against Jesus? What is wrong with their accusation?
  2. The rest of the trial focuses on Jesus’ confession. Jesus is asked straight out if he is the Messiah (v63b). What does Jesus mean when he identifies himself as the “Son of Man”.
  3. In the trial of Jesus, the witnesses can’t claim any evidence to support their claim. But in regard to Peter, the evidence is overwhelming and conclusive. Have a look again at vv69-73. What convinced people that Peter was with Jesus?
  4. In contrast to Jesus’ clear testimony about his identity, Peter firmly denies ever knowing or being with Jesus. Why was Peter so adamant that he hadn’t been with Jesus and didn’t know him?
  5. What was the significance of the timing of the rooster’s crow? How do you think Peter felt?

Reflecting on what it means for us

  1. Under what circumstances have you denied knowing Jesus? Perhaps you’ve never denied knowing Jesus blatantly, but under what circumstances have you failed to declare yourself as a clear follower of Jesus? How did you feel afterwards? What is it that typically holds us back?
  2. What do you think would help you become bolder in declaring your trust in Jesus – in declaring that you are a person of faith?
  3. What is the difference Mike was explaining between a godly sorrow and a worldly sorrow?
  4. Mike shared the story of the Rev’d CH Nash. A flawed man with many indiscretions. However, after some time in ministerial exile, he went on to establish a Bible college in Melbourne which has trained many for ministry and mission service. In his last sermon at the college, he reminded the students, that failure was not final. Do you believe in second chances?

Loving Lord, thank you for the honesty of this account. Thank you that we have insight into both Peter’s failure but also into his forgiveness and reconciliation and how he went on to be a mighty leader in the early church.
Change us Lord Jesus to be your bold disciples… but thank you too, that with you, failure is not final.