Monday, December 21, 2015

Peter Denies the Lord

John 18:1-27

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.  And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.  Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.” (John 18:1-3)

After his time praying, Jesus and the disciples went into a garden where they had camped many times before.  It was where Judas expected him to go, and he brought a group of armed security officers and other men to arrest Jesus.    As Matthew tells us, Judas had told them to arrest the man he greeted with a kiss, and he walked up to Jesus embracing and kissing him. 

“Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.  As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.  Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye?

And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.” (John 18:4-9)

Jesus knew exactly who they were an why they were there, but he asked who they were looking for.  When he told them he was the one, the entire group was knocked over backward by God’s power, but it made no impression on them.  When they got up Jesus repeated his statement that he was the one they were seeking and Asked that his disciples be allowed to go free.   He was not concerned about his death, but that they would not be killed. 

“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.  Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:10-11)

Peter had promised he would stand for Jesus, even to the point of death, and he proved his sincerity by attacking the band of men, but only succeeded in cutting of one of the men’s right ear, which Luke tells us Jesus touched and healed on the spot.  John and Matthew were so used to Jesus healing people they didn’t even mention it.  Jesus told Peter he had to fulfill the responsibility God had given him. 

“Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.  Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.” (John 18:12-14)

The band of men arrested Jesus and led him to the home of the High priest’s father in law where they could interrogate him and decide what charges to bring before taking him to court.  The High Priest, Caiaphas was the one who sometime before had said that they needed to kill Jesus so the Romans would not turn against the Pharisees and priests and kill the people. 

“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.  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 18:15-16)

When Jesus was arrested, all the disciples fled, but Peter and John only went a little ways, and they followed the officers to see where they took Jesus.  Because John was acquainted with the Hiph Priest and his family, he was able to go into the meeting.  Peter wasn’t known, and he stayed outside until John got permission for him to come in as well. 

“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.  And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.” (John 18:17-18)

The gate keeper recognized Peter as one of Jesus disciples, and he didn’t dare go into the house, but stayed outside with the servants and officers, where he felt he would be safer. 

“The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.  Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.  Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?  Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. “ (John 18:19-24)

After some initial interrogation at Annas’ house, Jesus was taken to the official residence of the high priest for more official questioning.  Caiaphas asked what Jesus taught and what his disciples believed, and Jesus told him it would mean more if he asked the people who listened to him.  Their statement would mean far more than what Jesus could say.  His statement made one of the others mad and he slapped Jesus for being disrespectful to the High priest,  Jesus asked why he hit him when ti would be far better proof than anything  Jesus might say. 

“And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples?

 He denied it, and said, I am not.

One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?  Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.” (John 18:25-27)

As Peter stood around the fire, some of the people remembered having seen him with Jesus, and he denied it again.  A little later, a relative of the man whose ear he cut off, who had been there to arrest Jesus recognized him, and Peter began to curse and swear he didn’t even know who Jesus was.  Almost immediately the Rooster crowed and Peter remembered what the Lord had told him.  He was horribly embarrassed.

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