3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Summary: Jesus’ captors tied Him up and led Him from the Garden of Gethsemane to the palace of the high priest, Caiaphas. Some Bible scholars believe that Christ was led by a chain that was placed around His neck.

HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS

(28) Peter’s Triple Denial

Scripture: Matthew 26:58, 69-75; Mark 14:54, 66-72; Luke 22:54-62 (focal passage); John 18:15-18, 25-27

Tom Lowe

2/3/2008

We have here the sad story of Peter’s denying his Master, at the time when He was arraigned before the high priest. Peter’s betrayal is reported in all four Gospels, which indicates something of the importance the Gospel writers saw in this defection of the disciples’ leader.

Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And [TL1Peter followed [TL2] afar off. (Luke 22:54)

But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. (Matthew 26:58)

And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. (Mark 14:54)

And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. (John 18:15)

But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. (John 18:16)

Jesus’ captors tied Him up and led Him from the Garden of Gethsemane to the palace of the high priest, Caiaphas. Some Bible scholars believe that Christ was led by a chain that was placed around His neck.

When the Lord was brought into the high priest’s house, Peter followed at a distance. He is about to discover how easy it is to make a promise ([1]Mk 14:29–31), and how hard it is to fulfill. However, by just following Christ and His captors he showed that he was concerned for his Master. We can commend him for that, but why did he do it? Could it be that he wanted to be safe, to satisfy his conscience, out of curiosity, or to save his reputation? We are not told, but each of us may venture a guess. The Apostle John reports that another disciple was with Peter, and both followed the crowd right into the courtyard of Caiaphas. The other disciple is unknown, but may well have been John, the son of Zebedee. This disciple knew the high priest and therefore had access to the high priest’s courtyard. Therefore, he was in a unique position to know what was going on and to get Peter into the courtyard.

And when they had [TL3] kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down [TL4] among them. (Luke 22:55)

Peter continued to keep his distance by associating himself with the high priest’s servants when he should have been at his master’s elbow.

The servants kindled a fire in the midst of the hall and sat down together, to talk over their night-expedition to capture Jesus. Probably Malchus, the man whose ear Peter cut off and Jesus healed, was among them; and Peter sat down among them, as if he was one of them, at least he wanted them to think he was. His fall into disgrace was disclaiming all acquaintance with Christ, and relation to him, disowning him because he was now in distress and danger.

But a certain [TL5] maid [TL6] beheld him as he sat by the fire, and [TL7]earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. (Luke 22:56)

Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. (Matthew 26:69)

And as Peter was [TL8]beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest. (Mark 14:66)

And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. . (Mark 14:67)

Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. (John 18:17)

Inside, he took his place with those who were warming themselves at a fire in the center of the courtyard. It was a cold spring evening. Jerusalem being about 2,500 feet above sea level would definitely have cold evenings. This little detail about the cold evening is another indication that the author of John’s Gospel was an eyewitness.

A servant girl, who was the doorkeeper in Annas’ house, looked across at Peter and exclaimed that he was one of the followers of Jesus. Perhaps, while at the Temple she had seen Jesus there and Peter with Him, and now she remembered him and said This man was also with him.

And he [TL9]denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. (Luke 22:57)

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