Daily Word

Same cup of suffering? | Matthew 26:69-75

69 Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A servant girl came over and said to him, “You were one of those with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But Peter denied it in front of everyone. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

71 Later, out by the gate, another servant girl noticed him and said to those standing around, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.[ k ]” 72 Again Peter denied it, this time with an oath. “I don’t even know the man,” he said.

73 A little later some of the other bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You must be one of them; we can tell by your Galilean accent.” 74 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know the man!” And immediately the rooster crowed.

75 Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he went away, weeping bitterly.

Matthew 26:69-75 (NLT) 中文


As Jesus is being falsely accused and found guilty of blaspheme, a capital crime for Jews, Peter is outside in the courtyard. He’s within earshot of Jesus, but not so close to be identified as His follower, so he thought.

3 denials

We read how Peter denies Jesus three times in a row. First the slave girl in the courtyard, then to another outside the courtyard. Finally, his Galilean accent betrays him and a few others confront him as a follower of Jesus. He not only denies he knows Jesus but calls down curses on himself if he is lying. In truth, of all the people living, Peter probably knew Jesus better than most.

This is also a fulfillment of the prophecy Jesus made earlier in Matthew 26:34. It was at the last supper and Peter had just boldly sworn that he would never deny Jesus, even unto death. And this oath was a contradiction of Jesus’ words. Not a good idea. The other disciples said the same.

Same cup of suffering?

What hit me while studying this passage is that at the Lord’s supper, Jesus passed the cup to each of them to drink. It represented his blood. Then a few hours later Jesus was asking if God the Father could take away this cup of suffering from the wrath of God (Matthew 26:42-46). Does drinking the cup of wine at the dinner symbolize taking on suffering? Maybe. But surely not as Jesus did for the sins of all men. Now Peter is refusing the suffering that belongs to Jesus’ disciples (John 16:33). Later, reliable tradition says he was martyred. 

Sorrow and hope

I like the NLT’s translation: “Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind”. It helps us slip into the sandals of Peter and wonder, “If that were me, would I have done any differently?” We can certainly understand his grief. But there is hope. John records in John 21:15-17 the event where Jesus restores Peter by asking a question three times: “Do you love me?”


  • We certainly can understand Peter’s (and the other disciple’s) actions. I doubt anyone is so proud or bold to say they could do better. So what do we learn? We can’t excuse our sin and lack of faith by thinking, “but if Jesus were here and saw His miracles…then I’d believe or, I’d overcome this sin.” Wrong! Repent now and turn back to Him. He is quick to forgive and restore us.
  • Do you believe that your life should be free of suffering? Read the Bible more carefully. Try to name even one follower of the Lord (OT or NT) who didn’t suffer. But don’t stop there, look at the glory that comes later. Romans 8:18
Lord’s supper, cup of suffering. Image from womanofnoblecharacter.com *

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1 Comment

  1. My good friend sent this reply to me directly. He said I could share it on his behalf here:
    Yes, the cup Jesus asked the father to take away was a cup of suffering. Yes, all the apostles probably died the death of a martyr – they welcomed torture & death rather than deny Jesus.

    So yes, the cup of the LORD’s supper is symbolic of suffering; but also so much more – it is all the blessings of the life of a Christian, culminating the time we drink it anew in the Kingdom – in the presence and close, intimate fellowship with Christ. ~D.W.

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