Peter Thrice Denies the Lord.
(Court of the High Priest's Residence. Friday Before and About Dawn.)

^A Matt. XXVI.58, 69-75; ^B Mark XIV.54, 66-72; ^C Luke XXII.54-62;

^D John XVIII.15-18, 25-27.

^a 58 But { ^d 15 And} Simon Peter followed Jesus [leaving Jesus in the palace of the high priest, we now turn back to the garden of Gethsemane at the time when Jesus left it under arrest, that we may follow the course of Simon Peter in his threefold denial of the Master], and so did another disciple. [This other disciple was evidently the apostle John, who thus speaks of himself impersonally.] Now that disciple was known unto the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest [John's acquaintanceship appears to have been with the household as well as with the high priest personally, for we find that it is used as a permit at the doorway. It is likely that the high priest knew John rather in a business way -- Acts iv.13]; ^b 54 And Peter had followed him afar off, ^a unto the court of the high priest, ^d 16 but Peter was standing at the door without. So the other disciple, who was known unto the high priest, went out and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. ^b even within, into the court of the high priest [For courts of houses see p.182. It is still customary to have female porters at the houses of the great and rich. See Acts xii.13. John would have shown a truer kindness to Peter had he let him stay out]; ^d 17 The maid therefore that kept the door saith unto Peter, Art thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not. ^a and [Peter] entered in [The doorkeeper evidently recognized John as a disciple, and was therefore suspicious of Peter. The cowardly "I am not" of Peter is a sad contrast to the strong "I am he" of Jesus], ^d 18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals; for it was cold; and they were warming themselves: and Peter also was with them [they were gathered around a little smokeless charcoal fire], ^c 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the court, and had sat down together, Peter ^a sat with the officers, ^c in the midst of them. ^a to see the end. [Though his faith in Christ was shaken, he still loved him enough to see what would become of him.] ^b and he was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. ^c 56 And ^a 69 Now ^b as ^d Simon Peter ^a was sitting { ^d standing} ^a without ^b beneath in the court, there cometh { ^a came} unto him, ^c a certain ^b one of the maids of the high priest; 67 and seeing Peter ^c as he sat in the light of the fire, ^b warming himself, she looked { ^c and looking} stedfastly upon him, said, { ^b saith, ^a saying,} Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilaean. ^b the Nazarene, even Jesus. ^c This man also was with him. ^a 70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. ^b I neither know, nor understand what thou sayest: ^c Woman, I know him not. ^d They said therefore unto him, Art thou also one of his disciples? He denied, and said, I am not. ^b and he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. ^a 71 And when he was gone out into the porch, ^c after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou also art one of them. But Peter said, Man, I am not. ^b 69 And ^a another ^b the maid saw him, and began again to say { ^a saith} unto them that were there, ^b that stood by, This is one of them. ^a This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. ^b 70 But { ^a 72 And} again he denied ^b it. ^a with an oath, I know not the man. [Peter's second denial was of a quadruple nature. He denied to four different parties, but in such quick succession that the event is regarded as one.] 73 And after a little ^c after the space of about one hour another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this man also was with him; for he is a Galilaean.60 But Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. ^b Again they that stood by ^a came and said to Peter, Of a truth thou also art one of them; ^b for thou art a Galilaean. ^a for thy speech maketh thee known. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. ^d 26 One of the servants of the high priest, being a kinsman of him whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? ^b 70 But ^d 27 Peter therefore denied again: ^a 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, I know not the { ^b this} ^a man. ^b of whom ye speak.72 And straightway ^c immediately, while he yet spake, ^b the second time the cock crew. [Exasperated by the repeated accusations, Peter loses his temper and begins to emphasize his denial by profanity. Desire to make good his denial is now supreme in his thoughts and the Lord whom he denies is all but forgotten.] ^c 61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered ^b And Peter called to mind the word, ^c of the Lord, ^a which Jesus had said, ^b how that he said unto him, ^a Before the cock crow, ^b twice, ^c this thou shalt deny me thrice.62 And he went out, ^b And when he thought thereon, he wept. ^c bitterly. [When Peter remembered the loving tenderness of Jesus manifested when he foretold Peter's crime it formed a background against which the sin appeared in all its hideous enormity.]

cxxvi second stage of jewish
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