John 18.17-18 cont.
17 Then the maidservant, female door-keeper, said to Peter: “Are you not also one of the disciples of this Man?” He said: “I am not”.
18 Now the slaves and the temple attendants stood around a coal fire they had made, because it was cold, and they were warming themselves. Peter was also with them, and stood warming himself.
The female porter thought that she recognized Peter, and we may wonder how it was that she thought this.
It may be nothing more than her realizing that Peter was a companion of John, who had just asked for Peter to be allowed into the court. Therefore, concluding that Peter was a disciple of Jesus.
It is possible that she may have seen Jesus, along with His disciples, in the temple or at some other location within Jerusalem, and she recognized him.
Peter was probably feeling quite vulnerable at this point, since he had just tried to kill Malchus, the servant of the high priest. Therefore, his presence there in the court yard of Annas, was a dangerous place to be. We can imagine that by lying to her he was attempting to deflect any attention away from himself. He was trying to preserve his anonymity; he was trying to make them believe that He had nothing to do with Jesus, and certainly that he was not one of His disciples.
This was not the last time that Peter was to be confronted with this question; therefore, we will deal with this some more as we come to those verses.
Although Peter may have seen the danger of being recognized, he did not withdraw from the court yard. He stayed there, warming himself by the fire.
There is an old expression: ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’.
This means that if we find ourselves in circumstances that are too difficult for us to deal with, we best remove ourselves from those circumstances.
This was not Peter’s way of thinking. Perhaps he thought by denying that he knew Jesus he had done enough to make them leave him alone. Perhaps the lure of a warm fire was more overpowering than being out in the cold streets of Jerusalem; the warmth of the fire overshadowing the cloud of danger that he was under.
Therefore, he stayed where he was, warming himself by the fire.
We may have a great deal of sympathy for Peter, yet, at the same time we must learn that denying our relationship with Jesus will not remove us from any danger we may be in.