Was the Disciple Peter a Coward?

Understanding the Mission of Jesus

Matthew 26:30-35 reads:  After singing the Passover Hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  Then Jesus said to them, ‘Tonight you will all fall from your faith on my account; for it stands written:  “I will strike the shepherd down and the sheep of his flock will be scattered.”  But after I am raised again, I will go on before you into Galilee.’  Peter replied, ‘Everyone else may fall away on your account, but I never will.’  Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you, tonight before the cock crows you will disown me three times.’  Peter said, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you.’  And all the disciples said the same.

After Jesus is led away to be crucified, the witness of Matthew goes on to say:  Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard when a serving-maid accosted him and said, ‘You…

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