Why is the account of Peter’s denial of Jesus in the Bible?

peter denialToday we come to the passage in Luke where Peter denies Jesus.  This incident is recorded in all 4 Gospel accounts.  J.C. Ryle comments:

It is a passage which is deeply humbling to the pride of man, but singularly instructive to true Christians. The fall of Peter has been a beacon to the Church, and has probably preserved myriads of souls from destruction. It is a passage which supplies strong proof that the Bible is inspired and Christianity is from God. If the Christian religion had been the invention of uninspired men, its first historians would never have told us that one of the chief apostles denied his Master three times.

Mark Driscoll, in his introduction to the sermon series on 1 & 2 Peter, “TRIAL”, offers another reason why this account is included in the Bible:


He is arguably the easiest person to identify with in the Bible. No one in all of Scripture is as volatile and impulsive as Peter (cf. Matt. 14:28; Mark 14:29; Luke 5:8; John 21:7). On his worst days, he bossed Jesus around and denied even knowing him. On his best days, he wrote two books of the Bible and, according to church history, was crucified upside down at his own request because he did not believe he was worthy of dying as Jesus did.

Peter’s life was filled with trials. After failing miserably with everything from cowardice in the gospels to racism in Acts, by God’s grace he began to grow and change, showing that by God’s grace anyone can become a world-changing servant of Jesus. In Peter, we see a normal disciple. Someone who really loves Jesus. Someone who really sins. Someone with whom God is patient as he grows and matures through his sin to love Jesus more and sin less. Perhaps this is why Jesus appointed him as the leader of the disciples as an example for all Christians. His imperfections are endearing and his progress is encouraging.