Markby Robert M. Solomon
The arrest of Jesus was followed by a kangaroo court convened at night. He was tried by the highest Jewish council and court, the Sanhedrin, comprising the chief priests, elders, and teachers of the law, and presided over by the high priest. They tried to find evidence that would condemn Jesus to capital punishment (vv. 55-59) but had a tough time doing so, because Jesus was innocent. He remained silent (v. 61). Then they asked Jesus whether He was the Messiah and Son of God, and Jesus replies He was (v. 62). They now had a charge-blasphemy-and sentenced Him to death (v. 64). Jesus was then spat upon, mocked, and beaten (v. 65). Justice went to sleep that night.
Peter had followed the arrested Jesus ″at a distance″ (v. 54). While Jesus suffered at the hands of the corrupt Sanhedrin, Peter found some comfort outside warming himself at a fire (v. 54). A servant girl of the high priest passed by and recognised him as a disciple of Jesus (v. 67). Peter had been crouching in the darkness in relative safety, but was now exposed by a servant girl.
Peter tried to save his own skin by denying that he was a disciple of Jesus and by changing location (v. 68). He lied by claiming that he didn't know or understand what the girl was talking about. One reason people lie is to get out of trouble.The servant girl was quite sure that Peter was one of the disciples and she told others standing around, ″This fellow is one of them″ (v. 69). Now quite upset with her (these high priest's servants were such a nuisance), Peter again had to deny that he was Jesus' disciple (v. 70).
People began to notice Peter. Perhaps it was his Galilean accent, or his furtive glances and guilty, anxious look. They then said, ″Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean″ (v. 70). This time Peter reacted more strongly, swearing and vehemently denying that he knew ″this man″ (v. 71). Just then, the rooster crowed for the second time, just as Jesus had predicted (v. 72; Mark 14:30). Luke describes it as an intensely personal experience, for at that point Jesus ″turned and looked straight at Peter″ (Luke 22:61). That look spoke a thousand words. Peter was convicted, and he ″broke down and wept″ in bitterness and shame (v. 72).
Why did Jesus for the most part remain silent at the Sanhedrin? Why did He allow sinful and wicked men to try Him at court? How could they be allowed to condemn God for blasphemy? Think of how Jesus would personally answer you. Turn your thoughts into prayer.
Was there a connection between Peter's prayerlessness (vv. 37-38), and his fall? How do Christians end up denying Jesus? Why does this happen? Pray for yourself.