John 18:12-27

Talks for Growing Christians

The Record of Our Lord’s Pre-Trial Hearings & Peter’s Denial of the Lord

John 18:12-27

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Lesson Number 79

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Spiritual leaders are not necessarily spiritual.
  2. There is a difference between a backslider and an apostate.

Practical Application

  1. Are we warming ourselves at the fire of this world?


  1. What were the six stages to the Lord’s trial?
  2. Are spiritual leaders necessarily spiritual? Give examples from this text.
  3. Can this happen today?
  4. What can we learn from this unspiritual spirituality?
  5. What is the difference between a backslider and an apostate? Give examples of both from Scripture.


  1. Stages 1-3 made up His religious trial: a. the preliminary investigation before Annas b. the pre-trial hearing before Caiaphas c. the official religious trial before the Sanhedrin.
  2. Stages 4-6 made up His civil trial: a. a hearing before Pilate b. a hearing before Herod Antipas c. a second hearing before Pilate.
  3. Unfortunately, no. Annas and Caiaphus, as high priests, were looked on as spiritual leaders. They were in charge of the temple of the Lord. But they were not spiritual men, being self-serving and leading many people astray.
  4. Yes, as evidenced by men such as Jim Jones and David Karesh. Or by the Jim Bakers and Jimmy Swaggarts. And others.
  5. To beware of those who could stumble you Also, if you are in a position of leadership, to avoid stumbling others.
  6. A backslider is one who lapses in faith, but does not reject the faith. An apostate is one who rejects the faith that he once embraced. Peter was a backslider, who was later restored. Judas was an apostate. He was a follower, but never a true believer.


  1. Would someone think of you as a spiritual person? Think of the responsibility – that you would in no way stumble someone.
  2. Have you had your moments of backsliding? Recall the Lord’s gracious longsuffering to Peter, and his restoration. Recall the Lord’s gracious longsuffering to you.


  1. Peter was a picture of a believer warming himself at this world’s fire, participating and finding fellowship with a world that rejects Christ. Are you warming your hands at the fires of the world, with those who treat Christ with contempt? What do you do when someone tells an off-color joke, or uses the Lord’s name in vain? Remember the rooster.

Key Verses

  • “‘You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’” John 18:17 and 25 “Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.” John 18:27

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