Jesus was an expert in winning arguments with scribes, lawyers, Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees, elders, governors, kings, demons, disciples, and rich young rulers. Let’s analyze a typical Jesus-style debate, in one with disciple Simon Peter.
Jesus makes an assertion and appeals to the Hebrew scriptures with a passage from the minor prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 13.7).
“All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
Peter argues with Jesus comparing himself to others and claiming absolute staying power.
“Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”
Jesus makes His point a second time. He points to the future with a prophetic word of His own.
“Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
Peter’s bravado is out of control. Speaking “vehemently”, Peter displays more self-confidence than he actually possesses. Perhaps Peter is trying to convince himself.
“If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!”
Jesus offered no rebuttal and Peter got the last word. Peter refused to listen to reason and the Master simply let it go. Peter thought he won the ‘denial of his denial’ argument. The silence of Jesus in the face of Peter’s defiance is notable. The Lord already said what needed to be said. Jesus won the argument before Peter opened his mouth for the final time.
Peter and I have similar personality traits. I like to argue. I like to be right. I like to have the last word. I have even tried to argue with the Lord, just like Peter did. Sometimes I get the last word with Jesus which I assume validates my argument. The silence of Jesus should not be mistaken for His approval. It would be much wiser and safer to accept as final Christ’s last word on any subject.
Sometimes it’s better to listen more than talk to Jesus.