Judas betrayed, the disciples fled, the people accused, and Peter denied. After
43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.”45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him.46 And they laid hands on him and seized him.47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.”50 And they all left him and fled.
51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him,52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.
53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together.54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire.55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none.56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree.57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying,58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’”59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need?64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came,67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed.69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.”72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”And he broke down and wept.
The Arrest [14:43-59]
- Judas abandoned Jesus due to a selfish greed (14:43-45).
- The disciples abandoned Jesus due to a fearful uncertainty (14:46-52).
- The religious leaders abandoned Jesus due to their unmet expectations (53-59).
- All abandoned Jesus when he refused to be created in their own image.
The Confession [14:60-65]
- Jesus’ silence intentionally forced the high priest to confess the truth he wanted to refuse (14:61).
- Jesus unashamedly claimed to be the Messiah of the world and the Son of God (14:61-62).
- Jesus endured wrongful accusation so that he could take the place for our deserving condemnation (14:63-65).
The Denial [14:66-72]
- Followers of Christ will always struggle between embracing Kingdom suffering or seeking personal comfort (14:67).
- Denying Jesus and disowning His Church are two inseparable tragedies (14:68-70).
- Even those who make the most adamant promises to be faithful to God are in desperate need of His grace (14:71-72)
- If some of the most pathetic figures in this narrative are in heaven right now, what sin could keep you out?
- Your chance for heaven isn’t based on the crime you committed, but on the plea you entered.
- For all the times that we have abandoned Jesus, he has never once abandoned us.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.