THE FRIGHTENED DISCIPLES HIDE AND DENY WHILE JESUS TESTIFIES OPENLY HE HAS NOTHING TO HIDE
(:12-14) INTRODUCTION: THE IRONY IN THE ARREST OF JESUS
A. (:12) Ironic Political-Religious Alliance
“So the Roman cohort and the commander, and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him”
Hendriksen: Irony of Jesus being bound:
He, the One who had come into the world to bring freedom, and apart from whom freedom is absolutely impossible was himself bound. He was bound, however, in order that we might be loosed from our sins.
B. (:13) Ironic Role Reversal: Great High Priest brought before the Religious Hierarchy
“and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.”
C. (:14) Ironic Insight of Caiaphas
“Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.”
Ryle: This verse contains one of John’s peculiar explanatory comments, and as such comes in parenthetically. It is as though he said, ‘Let us not forget that this was the very Caiaphas, who after the raising of Lazarus, had said publicly that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Behold how he is made the unconscious instrument of bringing that saying to pass, though in a widely different sense from that which he intended! Calvin compares him to Balaam.
Let us note how the great wicked men of this world—the Sennacheribs and Neros, and bloody Marys, and Napoleons—are used by God as His saws and axes and hammers to do His work and carry out the Building of His Church, though they are not themselves in the least aware of it. Indeed Caiaphas helps forward the one great sacrifice for the sins of the world!
Deffinbaugh: John wants us to know that Caiaphas, before whom our Lord will stand trial, is a judge who has already made up his mind about Jesus. Caiaphas, by whom Jesus would be condemned to die, was a man who had already determined that Jesus must die. This is not going to be a just trial. That much is clear already. And so John tells us the only thing about Caiaphas that really matters – that his mind is already made up.
I. (:15-18) PETER’S FIRST DENIAL (BEFORE HARMLESS SLAVE GIRL DOORKEEPER) CONTRASTED WITH OPEN IDENTIFICATION
A. (:15a) The Tale of Two Disciples Introduced
“And Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple”
Only two disciples brave enough to follow at a close enough distance to monitor what was taking place. Apparently the others had fled and hid.
B. (:15b-16) The Insider Disciple (probably John) Identifies Openly with Jesus
“Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought in Peter.”
C. (:17-18) The Outsider Disciple (Peter) Denies Connection with Jesus
“The slave-girl therefore who kept the door said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves, and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.”
II. (:19-24) RIGHTEOUS RESPONSE OF JESUS TO INITIAL INTERROGATION: I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE
A. (:19) Annas Probing Two Key Areas (note common chiastic structure again)
“The high priest therefore questioned Jesus about:”
1. His Disciples – Looking for Political Revolutionaries
2. His Doctrine/Teaching – Looking for Religious Heretics
B. (:20-21) Jesus Professing to be an Open Book in Same Two Areas
1. (:20) Examine My Public Teaching – No Heretical Hidden Agenda or Secret Message
“Jesus answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret.’”
2. (:21) Examine My Audience – No Rallying Disciples to Political Fanaticism
“Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; behold, these know what I said.”
religious leaders like yourselves have heard the same things my disciples have heard
C. (:22-23) Officer Punishing Jesus Unjustly
1. (:22) Unjustified Reaction
“And when He had said this, one of the officers standing by gave Jesus a blow, saying, ‘Is that the way You answer the high priest?’”
2. (:23) Righteous Response
“Jesus answered him, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, bear witness of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?’”
Hendriksen: One is especially impressed with the dignity and majesty of this reply.
D. (:24) Transition: On to Caiaphas
“Annas therefore sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”
III. (:25-27) PETER’S SECOND AND THIRD DENIALS HAPPEN QUICKLY
A. (:25) Second Denial (Before the officers of the guard around the fireplace)
“Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore to him, ‘You are not also one of His disciples, are you?’ He denied it, and said, ‘I am not.’”
B. (:26-27) Third Denial (Before the relative of Malchus)
“One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with Him?’ Peter therefore denied it again; and immediately a cock crowed.”
(Some technical questions regarding the order and number of Peter’s denials when the record of the other Synoptic Gospels is analyzed. We will not address those questions here beyond the comment below.)
Deffinbaugh: We should not be shocked that Peter denied his Lord three times. Indeed, when all of the Gospels are taken into account, it would appear that Peter denied Jesus to more than three people, on three different occasions. Mark’s Gospel includes a very significant addition to the other accounts. Here, Jesus predicts that the rooster will crow twice before Peter denies Him thrice (14:30). Mark then informs us that the rooster did crow a first (14:68), and a second (14:72) time. This means that before Peter denied his Lord the last time, he was actually warned, though it would appear he completely missed this warning. Peter’s denials fulfilled our Lord’s prophecies of his fall, a warning which Jesus may have repeated three times