By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer


Hello – my name is Peter

Maybe you heard about me…


I was a disciple of Jesus

        In fact I was the leader, the head, the spokesman

        I was the biggest and the best

                I was the one Jesus could always count on

                I was the one he needed

                I was the one who never let Him down


-at least I thought I was, until I learned differently

        And I learned that lesson the hard way


I wasn’t as great as I thought I was

        Maybe you’ve learned the same lesson?



Anyway, I’d like to tell you my story today

        It’s not always pretty – but its always true

You may identify with what I say

        -I hope so

        -that’s why I’m telling it to you!


First I’d better give you a little background . . . .





Disciple – called, 2 yrs with Jesus

        Knew as cousin, now 24-7


Leader, spokesman of disciples

        Always talking

        Big ego – all about me, self-confident to a fault

        I could do it all, Jesus needed me, I would take care of Jesus


Told Jesus He was wrong, not deny Him

        knew I wouldn’t, could depend on self to do it



Asleep – tired!



Me confused, surprised, afraid – HAD to do something!

Missed head, cut off lobe of right ear

Trying to give Jesus time to get away



I didn’t wait for any more, saw opening in back & was gone!  out of these! (others same)

Completely forgot promise to not desert Him

Looked back for one last glimpse before behind rocks

     Knocked Jesus to ground, tying hands & feet with       ropes & chains


I ran and ran way back in woods, hid with John

Found out what happened later:

        Pieced together what we saw, others saw, Jesus said later – here’s what happened …



        Tied cruelly, roughly

        ABRAHAM had ISAAC bound for sacrifice nearby

                led like sheep to slaughter!



        Across Kidron (red with BLOOD)

        Thru SHEEP Gate

        Past Temple (hear LAMBS dying)

        Through Jerusalem (after midnight, street deserted

        To Annas, ex-High Priest



        Judas: star (only) witness – missing!

                Paid to testify against Jesus, not just betray

                Revenge never as satisfying as we imagine

                Satan ‘dumps’ him after kiss, sees clearly

                Watches from distance, guilt & awareness

        Trial goes on without witness

                MOCKERY of justice! justify murder

                How you feel if before judge trying to kill you



Curious, couldn’t stay away – drug John along to find out

        Jesus said:     1. Pray for protection (didn’t!)

                        2. Get away for safety (didn’t!)

                                Act in own strength!

        Not come to rescue, apologize, comfort, help

        Just to satisfy curiosity

        No plan, over-confident in own ability



John well known, in easily

        I was dawdling behind, separated in crowd

        Then I approached the servant girl at the gate…


 “I AM NOT!”  Out of mouth before gave it thought!

        Courage, self-confidence gone!!!

                -didn’t pray like Jesus said

                -should have stayed away, not ready!

        Satan caught him off guard! not expect tempt here!

                all heroic promises gone

                all courage in self

        Just an ARROGANT COWARD!

                her sarcasm hit Peter’s pride!




        not let Jesus wash feet

        insist Jesus wrong @ me denying Him

2. PRAYERLESSNESS in Garden when told 3x to pray


3. ENERGY OF THE FLESH when attacked Malchus



        no business being in courtyard, pretending unbel

6. DENIAL itself inevitable



Meanwhile Jesus taken to another part of same house where Caiaphas held another court session


Remember: not a TRIAL but a PLOT (murder plot)

        wanted Him DEAD

                If not now never would win!

                Must kill Him today!

        Needed Rome’s approval!!

                Must have justifiable excuse or no approval

                Brought in many false witnesses

                        Needed 2 to agree @ something !


PHYSICALLY ABUSED prisoner again!

        -spit in His face (you ever been spit in face?)

        -slapped (like being slapped?)

        -struck Him with fists, lit “smashed” repeatedly

        -blindfolded & struck – “prophesy who hit you?”

                mockery, ridicule

   Satan filling them with hatred of Jesus!




I could hear the uproar start where I was in courtyard

        people at windows watched yelling about it

At fire warming hands, with same ones attacked in Geth!

Servant girl off duty,  walked past

Surprised, off guard again – fear takes over

PANIC: “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

Others joined in accusing me, I vehemently denied it all

No one believed me, all looked & whispered, watched

        Everyone looking for news, and I’M news!


Couldn’t escape without making more notice

Time passes: one hour, two hours

        People talk about other things, start to relax

Felt OK again (never remembered 3 denials prophecy)

        Then it happened



Group nearby talking louder and louder, look & point me

Loud enough for all nearby to hear

        Recognized me (big, Galilean dress, accent)

Some call out to me, accusing me

        Others saying something behind my back

NOT overly bothered that I was a follower of Jesus

BUT that I kept lying and denying it, saying they wrong


MALCHUS RELATIVE there, recognized me!

        Cold sweat, despite how chilly I had been

        Every notice how sins come back to haunt you?

Curse!  Swear!   vile fisherman language! (sailors)

        emotions out of control

“I don’t know this man you’re talking about!”

        more I denied it, more convinced I was!




        Immediately rooster crowed (3-4 AM)

        Reality struck – bottom dropped out!

        Scales off eyes and remembered – too late!

        “Oh, no!!!!!”



Movement out of corner of eye caught my attention

Man led thru courtyard from COUNCIL ROOM

        At first split second not recognize Him

                Face black & blue, eyes swollen shut

                Spit all over face

                Blood dripping down on shoulders – AWFUL

        Something about walk, carriage, robe – knew Him

        He paused, looked right at me, caught my eye



        Reality of it all hit home – ton of bricks!

        What I’d bragged – what I’d done!

        I saw the hurt in His eyes

                Not from physical suffering

                But from my cursing rejection

                I hurt Him in way enemies never could!

                NEVER forget that look!

        Immediately He was shoved on, encounter over!

        Everyone gathered in that direction – Forgot me

        Ran out through gate, weeping (2nd time that night


WEPT: profusely, loud, long, bitterly

        long after out of tears kept on

        couldn’t stop!!!

        only thing that made me feel better!



GUILT, FAILURE: at my strong point

        commitment to protect, be with Him

        Instead of protecting Him I hurt Him!

Always before my Sanguine temperament got me through

        Now it got me in trouble!!!



Later, with hindsight, I could see clearly what God was doing






1. God targets areas of life in which we need to be broken – Peter “I won’t let you die/wash my feet”  “I won’t deny you”

2. God arranges circumstances in which we are to be broken, allows us to set ourselves in a position for it – Peter denying the Lord

3. Chooses the tools by which we are to be broken – little girl asking ?

4. Controls the pressure that will be placed upon us – looking into the eyes of Jesus

5. Determines the amount of time necessary to break us – came to Peter right after resurrection



Meanwhile ‘official’ trial of Jesus taking place

        I found out about it later…

All top men in Israel gathered (but Nic, Jo of Arim)

All illegal

Similar to Trial 2: question, blasphemy

Sentence: death


Next stop: PILATE

        I didn’t find out any of this until later!

        Just thinking of my ‘problem’ not Jesus’

                Wounded pride, ego

                Admitting I on my own was a FAILURE!


        Roaming streets, looked awful, felt worse!

Always before Jesus bail me out, forgive & restore  Not this

Always before someone else to blame it on  Not this time!

Always before convince self I could/would do better. Not this

Always had something else to think @, focus on   Not this time!

Supporting, loving Jesus something REALLY wanted to do,

    Tried my best,  Used all my strength – totally failed!

        Would He still LOVE  me?  How could He?


All night, most of next day I roamed the streets…

        Eventually my wife found, took to Upper Room

Most miserable I’ve ever been in life! NEVER want to go

HIT BOTTOM like never before

        If couldn’t depend on self, who could depend on?

        that’s right – only Jesus!

But He was DEAD!!!    Those who were there told me

Then Sunday morning it all changed!  He WASN’T dead!

        I saw Him,  actually He found me along

        Reassured me of His forgiveness and LOVE

        Can you believe that?  He still LOVED me!

                Despite all I’d done – and not done?



Something died

The old peter died

I died to myself,

        No longer could I fool myself with self-confidence, etc


The WORST thing that ever happened to me

The BEST thing that ever happened to me


If it’s happened to you then you know what I’m talking about!

        And if it hasn’t it will – we all need it!




Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.


Like a horse being broken to be good for rider, instant obed


John 12:23-24 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.


Life comes from DEATH:     -Jesus

        -us to that which keeps us from 100% obedience

Why don’t give it up?

        afraid we’ll miss something, lack something nice for us,

        afraid God won’t help us through it and too much happen


Would God take anything away from you that is good for you?

        Parent to child: takes away pretty, shiny knife child cries

                Parent cruel?  no!  – same with God!

PAUL had to go through this to be useful

Paul calls self “bondslave” – crucified with Christ  Gal 2:20

        saddle-broke to God

You DO know what your area of brokennes is!

        Passed through your mind this morning

        maybe excused it, justified it, denied it


Always some area of SELF

self-will, self-reliance self-sufficiency, self-dependency

Goal of brokenness = destroy SELF

        so can live in full dependency on HIM



God circles it with bullseye

Jealous God – no other gods, competition, love

        He’ll break it!


Those God has most difficult time breaking are those who are most gifted, talented, having most as far as world is concerned.  Depend on that, put faith in that!

        Don’t want to give up reigns of their lives

        Too proud to be a slave of Jesus!


If you want intimacy in your walk with Jesus

If you want effectiveness in your service for Jesus

Then brokeness is God’s way to make that a reality



        Moses: anger problem

        Jonah: bitterness problem

        Paul: self-sufficiency problem

        Peter: pride problem



Restored to Jesus, but unsure of self, not trust self any more

        Good – humble

        Bad – how to move ahead, do what should do?






Holy Spirit fill – source of power

        Break self so see need of His power, use it

Preach sermon

        3,000 saved that day   total 3,120 believers!



About 2,000 believed



Jailed, trust in God, released



Ananias & Sapphira – pronounce judgment on hypocrisy, killed

Aeneas healed instantly

Tabitha (Dorcas) raised back to life

Cornelius – first Gentile, privilege to Peter



MARTYRED along with wife, crucified upside down

Rome 54 AD – Nero



Change came from letting God break me so He could use me

        Depend on self – pride, failure

        Depend on Him – success


He wants to do the same with you



PROMISES related to breaking


1. God only breaks us in love


2. Brokenness is God’s discipline in our lives with the purpose that we will be more usable in future service

        Other forms of discipline are to chastise us to have us live holy for Him right now

        Brokenness is for future service

        Punishment is only for unbel, never for bel


3. God sets limitations on our periods of brokenness

        Time – how long

        Intensity of the pain – how much

Like furnace heated to melt ore into iron — never too much, but always just right heat and time

        God EXPERT at that timing!

Length of time it takes determined by

        length of time it will take determined by what God is trying to break us from – lifelong trains of thought, attitudes, dependency on another person, childhood things, etc.

        length of time it takes for us to submit and stop rebelling/refusing


4. God’s process of breaking us ceases when our will is broken.  He doesn’t want to break our spirit, just our will.


5. The process of brokenness ceases at the moment it would damage God’s great purpose for our lives. 

        Not allow our spirit to be broken

        Not allow our live to be taken prematurely

                Paul never died before God’s time!


6. God deepens our understanding through seasons of brokenness

        sensitivity to others hurting

        compassion, not judging and criticizing others

        responding to God’s will in our lives


7. God never deserts us through our time of brokenness

        “I will never leave you or forsake you”

     He does break us from attachments we shouldn’t have, things/people we are dependent on instead of Him, having control of our own lies ourselves,

        God wants us only dependent on Him !!!

                Then we can go back to the other people and things we used to depend on and enjoy them with balance, not need/dependency/insecurity – relationships can be more healthy, etc.

        Only this way can we have healthy, balanced relationships


8. God is always patient with us through our periods of brokenness


9. If you continue to rebel and refuse to submit no matter what, there comes a time when God stops and

        -sets you on the shelf, stop growing, feeling close to Him, useful

        -takes you home to heaven prematurely

10. God will lead you to victory through brokenness — if we are willing to submit to His will

        When we rebel against His breaking experience we delay the work of God and waste years when there will be no fruit or reward


“Like all living tissue, bone is constantly being broken down and reformed.” 

The words seemed to apply not only to our bodies but to the perpetual Christian emphasis on brokenness.  Repent!  Confess!  Acknowledge your sinfulness.

        As long as my relationship to God is alive, this biological fact seems to suggest the tearing-down process will be part of it.  The confession of sin, the admission of guilt, will go hand in hand with renewal….There can be no growth without pruning, no rebirth without death.




Ps 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.


Will you pray

        Lord, more than anything in this life I want to be close to you and useful to you.  I give you authority to break me in whatever area needs breaking so I can be closer to you and serve you better.



PRAY SILENTLY  (kneel, come to front)

Break – brokenness!

Tell Him you love Him



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