So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.
Easter at Christmas: Denial
John, it would seem, has not named himself but is probably the disciple who gets Peter into the high priest’s enclosure. The pressure, though, is on Peter. After all, he is the one who cut off one of the high priest’s servants ears. Maybe some of the gang are still in the courtyard. Peter, obviously wants to keep a low profile whilst at the same time keeping himself close to Jesus. It seems very natural to me that Peter would deny knowing Jesus.
When we feel under pressure we do things that we wouldn’t otherwise do. If we are truly focused on Jesus and what he stands for we wouldn’t buckle. However, self-preservation and self-focus causes us to take our eyes off the goal. Peter is very human in this regard, but he had claimed that he would be the best of us. He had talked a big talk. He had said that even though all others would fall away, he would stay by Jesus. Jesus had humbled him by telling him that Peter’s own gifts were just the same as the others. Now Peter shows that he is not the leader he had hoped he would be.
In spite of Peter’s claim that he could walk alongside Jesus in his final hours, Jesus now walks alone.John and the women will continue at a distance. Peter had claimed that what Jesus could endure, he could endure too.
Jesus you walked alone so that I would not have to. None of us could walk where you walked. None of us would endure what you endured. I believe that we would all deny you in the end unless the Holy Spirit gave us the boldness and the courage to endure. Let us be a light in the darkness. Let us reflect you.
- What had Peter promised?
- Why do people think that John had connections with the high priest?
- Why did Jesus let Peter know he would deny him?
- How do people over-promise when they commit to God?
- Why does God let us fail to live up to our commitment to him?