John 18.15-16 cont.
15 Now Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. That other disciple was known to the high priest, and he went in with Jesus to the court of the high priest.
16 Now Peter stood outside the door. The other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the female door-keeper and brought Peter in.
One of the things that driving instructors impress upon their pupils is that they must never get too close to the vehicle in front. At speeds of over forty MPH a safe distance is at least two seconds, and more in poor weather conditions. It is potentially dangerous to travel closer than two seconds.
We can only imagine that Peter and the other disciples followed Jesus at a safe distance. The other disciple is thought to be John. He and Peter are in other places mentioned together. It was Peter and John whom Jesus sent to prepare the Passover meal:
8 And He sent Peter and John telling them: “Go and prepare the Passover, so that we might eat it” – Luke 22.8.
Perhaps we are safe to assume that it was John who also accompanied Peter on this occasion, especially as it is probable that John was known to the household of Caiaphas.
We know that Jesus had commanded the arresting party to let His disciples go. However, these two decided that they did not want to abandon Jesus. Perhaps they thought that they might somehow be able to rescue Jesus. Perhaps they didn’t want Jesus to think them to be weak and feckless. Perhaps they didn’t want to disappoint Jesus.
They were certainly curious to want to know what was going to happen to Jesus. If they had followed Jesus at a safe distance they now abandoned that safety as they entered the court of the high priest, which was not a place of safety.
There are times when it might seem appropriate to not be too open about our following Jesus. There may be good reasons for this. Paul (Saul), after receiving Jesus as His Lord and Saviour, openly preached Jesus in the synagogues in Damascus. When it became too dangerous his fellow followers of Jesus enabled him to escape under cover of darkness by lowering him in a basket from the city wall.
We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to know when to be open and when to be safe in our witness to Jesus.