Today, I will talk about Peter’s experience during Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas. When I first started talking about the crucifixion, I thought that I could share what I needed to share in four blog posts, but I can now see that it will take more than four, and so I am not putting a number on how many blog posts it will take to cover the crucifixion anymore. I hope that you all are being blessed by thinking about these closing scenes of Jesus’ life on earth.
Peter, like all of the disciples, neglected to watch and pray as Jesus had begged them all to do. Their failures to do this caused all of the disciples to run away from Jesus when He was first arrested (Matthew 26:56). However, we know that at least Peter and John returned later.
Peter was present at least during Jesus’ trial before the wicked high priest, Caiaphas. Because he had not received strength from God which he would have gained from watching and praying, he had no strength to be faithful to Jesus and to stick by Him during His worst moments. When a maid strongly suspected that Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples and asked him if he was, Peter denied it. Others also suspected (and even realized), that Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples, but he continued to deny it.
“And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and [so did] another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.
Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also [one] of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.
And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also [one] of his disciples? He denied [it], and said, I am not.
One of the servants of the high priest, being [his] kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.” John 18:15-18 & 25-27 (KJV)
“And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. Luke 22: 60-62 (KJV)
What a painful shock for Peter. Earlier on, shortly before Jesus had struggled in Gethsemane, Peter was sure that he would do anything for Jesus. Mark 14:27-31 (KJV) Peter sincerely thought that he loved Jesus with all of his heart, and was offended when Jesus foretold that he would deny his Lord. He couldn’t believe it. The problem was that Peter’s heart, like all of our hearts, was naturally selfish. He loved Jesus, yes, but he still loved himself more. Severe trials reveal to us who we really love the most. Unless we have allowed God to soften and strengthen our hearts, we will reveal, under severe trials, that we love ourselves the most.
As I have mentioned before, I once had an experience similar to Peter’s, and I learned the same painful lesson (although the trial my loved one and I went through together was much less severe). I thought that I loved a certain person very much, but under a painful trial, I realized that I loved myself more. I behaved selfishly at a time when my loved one was suffering very much and really needed my support.
None of us need to despair when we begin to comprehend the extent of our selfishness though, because God can change our hearts. We will see later on, that Peter became humble, bold and courageous and really did come to love Jesus more than he loved himself. God is a merciful, loving God who really wants to make noble, loving, self-sacrificing people.
I do want to say here though, that God DOES want us to be happy and to enjoy innocent things that make us, personally and individually, feel happy (James 1:17). This being said, we are happiest when we have our own healthy individualities and enjoy life while still putting the welfare and interests of others before our own.
I would like to close with the following beautiful verses which are written to encourage and inspire us to live a life of loving others.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:10-18 (KJV)
Also, once again:
Note: Regarding loving other people more than we love ourselves; I’m convinced that during hard times, this is a choice we have to make while asking God for the strength we need. Also, love isn’t all affection. If you are in an abusive situation, please do the loving thing, which is to reach out for help. Here is a resource for people in abusive situations and also for abusive people who want to change. https://www.thehotline.org/ (this paragraph was copied and pasted from one of my YouTube videos)
As you all may be able to tell by now, this series is constantly evolving. I had a general concept of how the series would be when I started it, but as I write blog-posts each week, I realize that the story of Jesus is so deep that it is taking more posts than I thought it would to share what I want to share. This being said, as of now, my plan is to finish talking about the crucifixion (I’m not exactly sure how many blog posts this will take), to talk about Jesus’ resurrection and about His short time of ministry on earth following His resurrection, to talk about His ascension to heaven, and to talk about how to have a wonderful relationship with Him. Additionally, I will talk about what Jesus is currently doing in heaven, about how we can know that He is coming soon, and also about heaven and the new earth (adapted from the update on this blog-post). I hope that you are being blessed by this series, and that you will stay tuned for my upcoming blog-posts in this same series.
Blessings and courage. 🙂
Photo credit: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/jesus-reaching-out-gm182707450-12497376