John 18:12-14, NIV
12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the
Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought
him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the
high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised
the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.

February 8, 2012
A detachment of soldiers, their commander and the Jewish officials
arrested Jesus. When someone is arrested, they lose their right to
determine what they will do and when they will do it. Someone in
authority over them makes these decisions for them, including what
you eat, when you will sleep and how often you may use bathroom
facilities. For someone who has never been arrested, it is difficult to
imagine what this must be like.

Jesus was bound. Hands? He would have needed his feet to walk.
Binding someone takes away even more of a person's right to
determine what they will do. It limits a person from defending him or
herself from blows or even bugs. I wonder if they tied his mouth shut?

Annas was the elder; Caiaphas the younger one and the current chief
priest at the time. Caiaphas had already made his position clear that
he thought Jesus could bring harm to their nation, as a rabble rouser,
and that it would be better for one man to die than for the Romans to
target and punish the whole nation. It was pretty clear that Caiaphas
would not stand up for Jesus, nor defend him.


                                          John 18:15-18, NIV
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus.
Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with
Jesus into the high priest's courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait
outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the
high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and
brought Peter in.

17 "You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the
door asked Peter.

He replied, "I am not." 18 It was cold, and the
servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep
warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

February 9, 2012
Within the larger story of the arrest and trial of Jesus, we have a smaller
story, a little antidote. It involves Peter, that bold and outspoken disciple
of Jesus who always had an opinion about everything and did not
hesitate to share it.

The other disciple who accompanied Peter is not named, and it doesn't
sound to me like he was one of the Twelve. More likely it was a secret
disciple of Jesus, known and accepted in the high priest's house and
not suspected of divided loyalties. A sympathizer of Jesus who never
stated these feelings openly. We know the names of two such people--
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. But it could have been anyone
with access to the high priest who felt Jesus was not being treated fairly.

This unnamed person opened the door for Peter to enter the courtyard
of Caiaphas. But as soon as Peter entered, he was spotted and
recognized by a servant girl. Poor Peter! What started out as an
innocent lie to an alert young door tender escalated into a major event
told by all four gospel writers. The shameful story of his denial will be
read and commented upon forever.

Why was Peter so ready to defend Jesus with a sword just a few
moments ago in the midst of a regiment of armed soldiers, yet here
in the courtyard when confronted by a harmless female, he denied
any association with Jesus? And why do we talk more of the latter
than the former? Maybe it makes us feel better about ourselves when
someone as strong and popular as Peter fails in the same ways that
we fail.

If he lied, he got to stay in the courtyard; if he told the truth he would
be thrown out or maybe worse. He wanted to stay so he could
observe what was happening to Jesus, so he agreed with the
questioner. "You are right, I am not one of them."

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