John 8:24-27

Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

 While it is not recorded here in John, Luke records that when the rooster crowed that third time Peter “went out and wept bitterly.”  The words Luke uses communicate this was not merely “I’m feeling sad” tears, but a loud violent bawling. Peter was no doubt broken at this moment as he had never been before. This had to be the darkest, most depressing moment in Peter’s life. When Jesus foretold Peter that he would deny Him, Peter insisted he would even die with Christ. Remember Peter’s desire to be identified with Jesus, when he asked Jesus to wash his whole person instead of just his feet? I think Peter was very serious about that desire. Here, however, when Peter’s safety felt at stake, there was a lapse in this desire. We can’t be too hard on Peter, for each of us has at one time or another tried to dodge our connection to Christ. Maybe it was in your Psychology class (as it was for me many years ago) when the professor asked everyone who “had their salivation” (mocking Salvation) to raise their hand so he could administer a large dose of ridicule.  To my shame I lacked the fortitude to do so. Unfortunately, unlike Peter, I did not possess the good sense to weep bitterly over my denial, just a lame attempt at self justification.  I mean, after all, a college prof. could most likely argue more cogently than my meager abilities could to defend my belief. Peter’s denial was more justifiable than my own; he may have been in a life and death situation. For many Christians in the USA today the reasons they deny Christ are generally not life threatening, but ashamedly mere embarrassment. Embracement has to be the poorest of all excuses for denial of Christ. There is a promise we must remember in Matthew 10; “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” We need to be Christians that earnestly desire to be identified with Christ. And if and when we deny Him we need the good sense to weep bitterly for our shame.

 Bill

 Heidelberg Catechism

Q. 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even “unto death”?

A. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, (a) satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise, than by the death of the Son of God. (b) (a) Gen.2:17. (b) Rom.8:3,4; Heb.2:9,14,15.

John 18:22-23

When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 

Now there are certainly a couple issues that we need to pay attention to here. First, even as brutal as the Romans were, it was very irregular to strike a bound prisoner. Now there are several opinions of the use of the word when it says he “struck” Christ. It could mean with a rod or the palm of his hand or his fist. Whichever way he struck Christ it was in a fit or capricious, unbridled rage, based not on truth but passion. You have to feel the high level of tension going on here. This was not merely the capture of a criminal – this was the arrest of the one who was undoing a complete worldview. I suspect a mass murder would have fared a better arrest and trial than Christ. Secondly,  concerning Annas, Rome had removed him from the office of high priest and replaced him with Caiaphas. While Annas was not legally the high priest, the Jewish leaders still recognized him as so. I do not believe Jesus answer would have been disrespectful even if Annas was not legally the high priest. Jesus would never insult the high priest; the office would demand his utmost respect. So we cannot see Jesus answer as insulting or disrespectful. It was the truthful gentleness with which Jesus spoke that infuriated the man. Haven’t we all experienced anger when gentle truth lays open our sin. Until we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit we fight tooth and nail against any form of  truth that works to undo our worldview. 

Bill 

Heidelberg Catechism 

Q. 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even “unto death”?

A. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, (a) satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise, than by the death of the Son of God. (b) (a) Gen.2:17. (b) Rom.8:3,4; Heb.2:9,14,15.

 

John 18:20-21

Good morning friends, 

Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.”  

The lost man cannot hear – nor does he care to. As Paul Simon noted in his song The Boxer – “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Everything Christ taught and did was open and verifiable. The leaders of Israel had to work to find “witnesses” to condemn Him. The witness of the truth was overwhelming, a multitude saw and heard and could substantiate what Christ proclaimed. In the final analysis they had to turn to absolute lies to condemn Christ. Where were those who knew the truth? Christ never did anything in secret and just as Romans explains concerning the open display of God’s work and concludes there is absolutely no excuse for man’s ignorance of His existence, so the same applies to Christ. This is exactly what Christ is saying here – “ask anybody,” “it was all in the open, a multitude saw and heard.”  Sometimes I wonder about the witness of those who remained quiet, and I am sure my mouth would equally quiet.  We were there with the disciple and the multitude that knew the truth. Was there not one person who was brave enough to step up and say “I saw and heard, and he speaks truth.” It is funny to think we are quick to become arrogant over many areas of our Christian experience amongst ourselves, but rarely do we assert the reality of Christ to the antagonist. We puff up our chests in great display of belief among ourselves, but slip out the door when the room is full of Christ haters. Why o why is He so patient with our sorry souls? 

Bill 

Heidelberg Catechism 

Q. 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even “unto death”?

A. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, (a) satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise, than by the death of the Son of God. (b) (a) Gen.2:17. (b) Rom.8:3,4; Heb.2:9,14,15.

John 18:18-19

Good morning friends,

  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. The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.  

Peter followed close enough to be in earshot, but to be sure not wanting to appear associated with Jesus. The text clearly indicates that a fire was kindled because the cold commanded it. It would seem to me that Jesus’ body would be acutely feeling this cold. If Jesus, in his great agony as he prayed just before His arrest, suffered hematohidrosis, “sweat great drops of blood,” His system would surely be compromised. I can remember being at Consultation Lake on the side of Mt Whitney after an all day hike. My body was very tired and I was feeling the cold in a way I have never experienced – I just could not get warm. The cold must have been a thousand times worse for Jesus. So we can see Jesus severely feeling this cold and Peter, the disciple that was willing to die with Jesus, warming himself at the enemy’s fire. How many times are our hearts in the same place as Peter’s?  Oh yea, we are willing to die for Christ – until it gets a bit cold and we need to warm up by the worlds fire. 

Bill

Heidelberg Catechism 

Q. 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even “unto death”?

A. Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, (a) satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise, than by the death of the Son of God. (b) (a) Gen.2:17. (b) Rom.8:3,4; Heb.2:9,14,15.

 

John 18:17

Good morning friends, 

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.”  

The man that wanted to be so identified with Jesus that he wanted not only his feet, but his head and whole person washed, seems to have lost that passion. I have often wondered why John was not recognized by the servant girl as well. Did Peter have a icthus tat or necklace? (I find it ironic that some who display Christian logos on their cars have driving habits that could only be termed as demonic.) Obviously something about Peter clued this girl in that he had been hanging out with Jesus. Some have suggested that it was Peter’s “accent” that gave him away. Surely the servant girl did not associate every person that came from Nazareth as one of Jesus followers. No I think that there was something deeper, more subtle in Peter’s presence. Was the compassion and concern on his face over Jesus betraying his rough fisherman exterior?  We have all know those who seem to have a Christian presence that goes against appearance.  Christ is so real in their lives that it seems to ooze out. We have all had the experience (far too infrequent for me) when someone walks up to us and says “you must be a Christian” because of how we respond or react in a difficult situation.  It was not that Peter was toting a giant print NASB or that he was wearing a NOTW (not of this world) tee, I want to think it was that there was a reality in his affections for Christ. Yes he denies Christ three times in this episode, but it does tear his heart out when he realizes what he has done. 

Bill

 Heidelberg Catechism 

Q. 39. Is there anything more in his being “crucified”, than if he had died some other death?

A. Yes there is; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; (a) for the death of the cross was accursed of God. (b) (a) Gal.3:13. (b) Deut.21:23.

 

John 18:15-16

Good morning friends,

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, 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.  

. Considering what Mark notes, “all had fled,” it would be fair to assume that Peter and John came back and followed, as we read in Matthew, “from afar” to see what would become of Jesus. John, known to the High Priest, had access to where they had taken Jesus. How John was know by the High Priest is uncertain, most likely it was because John may have been a member in the priestly group in the Sanhedrin, none the less, he was known well enough that a word to the servant girl gained Peter access. It is easy for us to chide these two for their lack of courage in standing with Jesus, however, fear and self preservation is a very powerful motivator.  It is easy to be a groupie when the one you are following is on the top of popular, but when they are on the skids everyone moves away – and we are no different.  How many are we eager to be identified as Christian at a conference or concert, but when adverse effects arise how easily we are prone to draw back.  Why is it that we really have such a lack of influence on the world around us?  I am convinced it is because we appear to follow Jesus “from afar.” In the next couple verses Peter will show us just how far we are all capable of going.

Bill

Heidelberg Catechism 

Q. 39. Is there anything more in his being “crucified”, than if he had died some other death?

A. Yes there is; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; (a) for the death of the cross was accursed of God. (b) (a) Gal.3:13. (b) Deut.21:23.

 

John 18:12-14

Good morning friends, 

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.  

The fact that they bound Jesus certainly indicates fear reigned on the part of the crowd. Jesus offered no resistance, He allowed no violence, but they still bound him. What happens from here on out was completely illegal according to Jewish law. Why was Jesus first taken to Annas? The Roman governor would frequently change the high priest and were mostly stooges to him. It would appear that they took Jesus to Annas because they had a higher regard for him. We see that the writers of Jewish history did not have favorable sentiments towards Caiaphas. It appears that his name was actually Joseph, but called Caiaphas – which can be translated “one who vomits at the mouth.” Annas was to rightfully be the High Priest, but apparently squeezed out by the Roman governor to maintain control over the Jews. Israel was (as it is today) a very volatile area. Rome wanted the governor to maintain complete control and maintain peace which required some fancy foot work on the part of the governor in effort to appease both Rome and the Jews. John reminds us here that it was Caiaphas that prophesied that it would be “expedient that one man die for the nation.” Darkness can hide in a pretense of “right.” How many times have our hearts deceived us into actions that were “good” for other ends? Pride, desire for power or notoriety can overshadowed the “truth” of ministry many a time. How many times have we justified our actions with the apparent “good” ends it would achieve? 

Bill

Heidelberg Catechism 

Q. 39. Is there anything more in his being “crucified”, than if he had died some other death?

A. Yes there is; for thereby I am assured, that he took on him the curse which lay upon me; (a) for the death of the cross was accursed of God. (b) (a) Gal.3:13. (b) Deut.21:23.