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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 26 - Verse 58

Verse 58. Peter followed him afar off. By this he evinced two things:

1st. Real attachment to his Master; a desire to be near him, and to witness his trial.

2nd. Fear respecting his personal safety. He therefore kept so far off as to be out of danger, and yet so near as that he might witness the transactions respecting his Master. Perhaps he expected to be lost and unobserved in the crowd. Many, in this, Imitate Peter. They are afraid to follow the Saviour closely. They fear danger, ridicule, or persecution. They follow him—but it is at a great distance; so far that it is difficult to discern that they are in the train, and are his friends at all. Religion requires us to be near to Christ. We may measure our piety by our desire to be with him; to be like him; and by our willingness to follow him always—through trials, contempt, persecution, and death. John says, that another disciple went with Peter. By that other disciple is commonly supposed, as he did not mention his name, that he meant himself. He was acquainted with the high priest, and went immediately into the hall.

Unto the High Priest's palace. The word rendered palace, means rather the hall, or middle court or area of his house. It was situated in the centre of the palace, and was commonly uncovered. See Barnes "Mt 9:2".

 

And went in. John informs us that he did not go immediately in. But the other disciple, being known to the high priest, went in first, while Peter remained at the gate, or entrance. The other disciple then went out, and brought in Peter. Matthew, Mark, and Luke have omitted this circumstance. John recorded it, probably, because they had omitted it, and because he was the "other disciple" concerned in it.

Sat with the servants, to see the end. That is, the end of the trial; or to see how it would go with his Master. The other evangelists say, that he stood with the servants warming himself. John says; it being cold, they had made a fire of coals, and warmed themselves. It was then probably not far from midnight. The place where they were was uncovered; and travellers say, that though the days are warm in Judea at that season of the year, yet that the nights are often uncomfortably cold. This fire was made in the hall, (Luke:) The fire was not in a fireplace, as we commonly suppose, but was probably made of coals laid on the pavement. At this place and time was Peter's first denial of his Lord, as is recorded afterwards. See Mt 26:69.

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