Witness 2007 - Gospel in Life

Witness 2007

Tim Keller |  March 4, 2007

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  • Jesus' Death & Resurrection
Mark 14:29-31, 53-54, 66-72
RS 191-20


The story of Peter’s denial and the story of Jesus’ arrest and trial are intertwined in Mark 14. We’re meant to compare these two stories. Peter is on trial, just like Jesus. Peter is being questioned, just like Jesus.

The question is being put in front of us: do you have what it takes to be a person of truth, of integrity, who does the right thing, who stands up for justice, who tells the truth in general and the truth about Jesus in particular, regardless of what it costs you? According to this passage, no, you don’t have what it takes—but you can get it.

We learn here 1) how Peter failed to be a true witness, 2) how Peter was healed and succeeded in being a true witness, and 3) how that happened.

Mark 14:29–31, 53–54, 66–72

This passage tells two intertwined stories about Peter and Jesus that teach us about being a faithful witness, a term that comes from the Greek word “martyr.” It means to tell the truth about Jesus even when it’s difficult. While Jesus is the perfect example of this, Peter struggles with it, making us wonder about our own ability to stand up for what’s right in tough situations. The story shows us that none of us are perfect, but we can change and grow, just like Peter did.

1. Peter’s struggle with being a faithful witness

Peter, who was supposed to be Jesus’ close friend, denies knowing Him to save himself. This reminds us that our faith and integrity are tested all the time, not just when things get really tough. It’s a hard truth to accept, but none of us can pass these tests on our own, no matter how strong we think we are or how many rules we put in place to help us.

2. How Peter changed and became a faithful witness

Peter’s journey from denying Jesus to becoming a faithful witness shows us the power of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. The Gospels, especially Mark’s, aren’t just stories passed down through the generations – they’re true accounts from people who were there, and even the smallest details matter. This part of Peter’s story shows us that Christianity is unique because it teaches that admitting our mistakes and accepting God’s love can turn our failures into something wonderful.

3. How Peter’s journey can guide ours

When we look at Peter and Jesus’ experiences side by side, we see that Jesus is like our lawyer and substitute, taking on our punishment so we don’t have to. When we truly understand and accept Jesus as our Savior, it changes everything. We don’t have to be afraid or feel guilty anymore, and we can trust in God’s love and promises. It also helps us realize that we don’t have to be perfect or try to impress everyone else, freeing us to live joyfully and honestly.



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