19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
25 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.
26 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?
27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
Annas is the key evil figure behind the crucifixion; Caiaphas is working the agenda of Annas.
McGee gives this insight to the plight of Peter: “John had an entree, but Peter is a poor fisherman whom nobody knows, and he can’t get in. John tells the girl at the gate that this is a friend of his, and so he brought Peter in. Simon Peter was scared to death. You see, John was at home here, but Simon Peter had never been in that crowd before. Peter has a big mouth, and he just has to talk. Remember the other gospels tell us that the girls spot him as a Galilean because his speech betrays him. He talks too much. He’s nervous in there. A little wisp of a girl makes him deny the Lord.”
“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 wants to be with John here, and is admitted by John’s influence—evidently John was known by the high priest, and used that influence first to get in and then to get Peter in. Peter’s problem is that he has made himself noticed by his actions and in this case one of the relatives of Malchus, the servant whose ear Peter speedily dispatched recognizes him. Peter also cannot keep his mouth closed, and by his very speech lets others know of his distinctive Galilean accent.
McGee gives a very good analysis of the sin of Judas and the sin of Peter: “Why is it that Simon Peter, who did a deed as dastardly as Judas, could make his way back to the Lord? Because he was a child of God, and it broke his heart to know what he had done. A child of God may get far from God, but God is never far from him. You may be dead to God, but God is never dead to you. He is always there and He is always available. The Lord never said to Peter, “I’m sorry, but because you failed Me, I just can’t use you anymore.””
I find God’s mercy so great here! There is nothing, says Paul, that can separate us from His love, and that includes my failures. I love the fact that Jesus uses Peter to build his church rapidly, by the thousands, on the day of Pentecost. I can mess up so badly, and yet, I have “return rights” to the bosom of my Father. And when I mess up, coming back, repenting, and yielding myself to God, I can have every confidence of being used again by God. Oh, that He would fill me to overflowing, and that I might be able to preach the glories of my Lord to willing hearts!
The trial of Jesus was illegal from start to finish. There may have been as many as 500 in the contingency that arrested Jesus. I do want to call attention to the fact that Jesus gave Himself willingly here. Many times in the past He had passed through such throngs, and come to no harm. We know that Jesus knew his betrayal was at hand for had He not said so? It was not legal to brutalize an accused before the conviction; it certainly was not legal to arrest and try Jesus during the same night. Annas, the real force behind this, most likely rationalized the trial as necessary. After all, had not a large force during the night been required to arrest Him, lest the crowds riot? Annas most likely thought the Jews were likely to be condemned for insurrection by the Romans. I think it also useful to know that, for generations, the Jewish leaders, including the high priest, were being selected by the Romans. Annas had no divided loyalty here; he was being loyal to his employer, and probably also thought his actions were required to save his people. Which is ironic, because in trying to save his people from harm, he crucified the Savior of the world.
McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 103849-103852). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.
McGee, J. Vernon (1990-01-30). Thru the Bible 1-5 (5 Volume Set) (Kindle Locations 103815-103819). Grupo Nelson. Kindle Edition.
In the Garden
1. I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
2. He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
3. I'd stay in the garden with Him
Though the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go through the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.
Lyrics: Charles Austin Miles
Music: Charles Austin Miles