A Disciple’s Denial

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

Laura Range - March 17, 2024

A Disciple's Denial

The Kingdom Through The Cross

Scripture References: Mark 14:53-72

From Series: "The Kingdom Through The Cross"

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Read Mark 14:53-72 (ESV):  

     And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows. 

     66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. 


  1. Beasts often appear in stories to show what happens when people let their “animal” desires (like greed or self-preservation) take over and cause them to behave in less-than-human ways. Share an example of this that you’ve heard of in history or in current events or in your own life.
  2. Talk about the ways that the chief priests, elders, and scribes resembled beasts in how they treated Jesus in Mark 14.
  3. In the Old Testament book of Daniel, the prophet Daniel dreams about some beasts. Read Daniel 7:11-14. Jesus’ response to the chief priests, elders, and scribes in Mark 14:62 was intended to remind them of Daniel 7. What was Jesus communicating through this connection?
  4. Up to this point in Mark’s gospel, Jesus had asked people (and even demons) to keep quiet about his identity as God’s Son, but now he speaks it out plainly. Why didn’t he want this revealed before this time, and why does he openly state this here?
  5. Peter’s behavior in Mark 14:66-72 reminds us that – even if we’re not a full-blown “capital B beast” – we all have beastly seeds within us and have potential to become beasts. How have you noticed this in your own life?
  6. Even though Laura wanted to help “Earl the squirrel” escape from his captivity in our church building so that he could be safe and thrive, Earl would not cooperate and let her free him. What parallels do you see in humanity’s response to God’s desire to free us so we can thrive?
  7. Why did Jesus let “the beast” defeat and kill him?
  8. While beasts say, “Your life for mine,” Jesus says, “My life for yours.” When the people were betraying Jesus, he was loving them. When they were being faithless, he was being faithful. When they were cursing him for their survival, he was laying down his life for their thriving. When they wanted to destroy him, he chose to redeem them. How and why did Jesus’ willingness to let the beast defeat him actually result in the restoration of our humanity?
  9. If we don’t need to armor up and protect ourselves because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, how should that impact our living and interaction with others?
  10. It’s always exciting and encouraging to watch a new follower of Jesus shed their “beastly” tendencies as God restores their humanity and brings back the goodness God originally placed inside of them. If you’ve had the joy of observing that transformation process in someone, share about that with your group.
  11. What did you sense God saying to you through this passage and this message?