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Daily Reading: 30th December 2015

John 18.24-27

24 Then, having bound Him Annas sent Him to Caiaphas, the high priest 

25 Simon Peter was standing there warming himself. Then they said to him: “Are you not also one of His disciples?” He denied it and said: “I am not.”

26 One of the slaves of the high priest, who was a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut of, said: “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?

27 Again Peter denied it, and immediately a cock crowed.

As we have already seen Annas may have been residing in part of the high priests palace. Having conducted a preliminary trial Annas sends Jesus to Caiaphas. It is good for us to remember that Annas had been the high priest from 6 AD to 15 AD, but the Romans had removed him from power. He was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, and he still wielded a lot of power behind the scenes. He was the power behind the throne.

Caiaphas was the person who said that it would be better for the nation if one man (Jesus) was killed in order to save the nation from the ravages of Rome (John 11.49-50).

(There is a suggestion that in 1990 the bones of Caiaphas were found in a burial cave in Jerusalem).

Johns’ attention turns from the trial of Jesus before the high priest to Peter and his encounter with those who were standing around a fire warming themselves.

Everyone agrees that this was not Peter’s finest hour. It was not an occasion when he covered himself with glory.

However, perhaps Peter has been badly represented. We read that along with John  it was only them two who had dared to go into the city following Jesus. Not only did they go into the city, but also they went right into the court yard of the high priest.

This was a brave and courageous thing to do. They both made themselves very vulnerable.

They both knew that they were placing their lives on the line. Some may have said that it was a foolish thing to do, but they did it, probably being aware that they could be arrested, just as Jesus had been.

Therefore, it is right that we should remember the bravery of them both and not dwell on Peter denying that He knew Jesus.

It is undoubted that He did deny Jesus, that in the heat of the moment his bravery deserted him, and his courage melted away. Yet he was there, attempting to support His master.

No doubt all of us have had those moments when, like Peter, we have denied Jesus. We may have kept silent when it would have been better to speak out for Jesus. We may have refused to do some task for Jesus, when we know that we should have done it. Like Peter there will be times when bravery and courage desert us, but Jesus never will.

 

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