John 18:12-27 – Trials, Testimonies, and Denials

My sermon notes for Sunday, Aug 5th as we continue our study through The Gospel of John. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit


John 18:12-27 – Trials, Testimonies, and Denials.

A dark and troublesome night, yet all is not lost.


John 18:11–27 – [11] So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

[12] So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. [13] First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. [14] It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

[15] Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, [16] but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. [17] The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” [18] Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

[19] The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. [20] Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. [21] Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” [22] When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” [23] Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” [24] Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

[25] Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” [26] One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” [27] Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. (ESV)


Jesus before Annas – vv. 11-14, 19-23


It was not your typical high priest/Sanhedrin trial.

  • Jewish procedure and law were not followed. (could have been a stalling technique to give Caiaphas the time to get his witnesses together. They would have wanted to this to take place at night.)
  • The verdict was already determined, this was a mock trial. John 11:45-53.


Annas asks about His disciples and His teaching.

  • Disciples
    • What type of following did He have. Worried about His success.
  • Teaching
    • Concerned over His was theology. HIS TEACHING/MIRACLES DEMONSTRATED HIS DEITY
    • Who He was. Where He is from.  Who sent Him.  Why He came.
    • To Pilate it was political. To them it was theological.
  • My teaching was never done in secret. My message was always the same.  I have nothing to hide.  I SPOKE OPENLY.
    • John 8:12-20
    • Questioning the slap conveyed that He was acting properly. (A man was intitled to a truthful self-defense.)



Peter’s denials – vv. 15-18, 25-27


The background of Peter and his devotion to Christ

Matthew 17:3–4 – [3] And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. [4] And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (ESV)


Matthew 26:30–35 – [30] And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. [31] Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ [32] But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” [33] Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” [34] Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” [35] Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. (ESV)


The intensity in which he denied Christ

The Matthew 26:69–75 – [69] Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” [70] But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” [71] And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” [72] And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” [73] After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” [74] Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. [75] And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. (ESV)


Jesus stood before religious leaders and political leaders proclaiming who He was.

Peter denied Christ before a servant girl. – After His glorious confessions… he denies. (13:37 I will lay down my life for you)


Why?  How could He deny Christ?

  • We know he loved the Lord.
  • We know the Lord love him.


From Peter’s perspective: (Fear, weakness)

  1. He thought too much of himself…. I AM PETER. I WOULD NEVER DENY YOU
    1. Over confidence.
  2. He thought to little of the Lord… Failed to pray in the Garden.
    1. To much of us lends to little dependency upon Him
    2. We forget how much WE NEED HIM
  3. He followed at a distance
    1. THEREFORE…when things got bad outside his desires/control/expectation


From Jesus perspective: (to make, mold and teach)

Luke 22:31–34 –  [31] “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, [32] but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” [33] Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” [34] Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” (ESV)


Satan asked to sift them like wheat.

  • “You” plural. All the disciples were sifted.  REMEMBER… all fail away.


  1. Preparing Peter/them for his calling.
  2. Remind Peter/them of the ugliness of sin and lack of faithfulness
    1. How quick we can stumble and fall when WE WALK AT A DISTANCE!
  3. Encourage the church
  • Dangers of spiritual unfaithfulness (words verse heart)
  • Joys of restoration
  • What a difference a faithful life can make.


The rooster crowed:

I can only imagine the felling, guilt, and heaviness when Peter heard that rooster crow.

What had he done?

  • Yet, in a few hours Jesus will go to that cross.
  • He will suffer and die but will rise again.
  • He will encounter Peter and encourage him in his faith
  • He will ascend to the right hand of the Father
  • He will send the Holy Spirit.
  • Then Peter will be part of a group THAT CHANGES THE WORLD.


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