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The Passover with the Disciples

12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 13So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.

17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” 20He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Peter’s Denial Foretold

26 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written,

‘I will strike the shepherd,

and the sheep will be scattered.’

28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.” 30Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” 35And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” 37He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? 38Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. 41He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. 47But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? 49Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” 50All of them deserted him and fled.

51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

Jesus before the Council

53 They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. 54Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. 55Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. 56For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57Some stood up and gave false testimony 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.’ ” 59But even on this point their testimony did not agree. 60Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 61But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62Jesus said, “I am; and

‘you will see the Son of Man

seated at the right hand of the Power,’

and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’ ”

63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death. 65Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him.

Peter Denies Jesus

66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. 67When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 68But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. 69And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” 71But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” 72At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.


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Mr 14:12-26. Preparation for, and Last Celebration of, the PassoverAnnouncement of the TraitorInstitution of the Supper. ( = Mt 26:17-30; Lu 22:7-23, 39; Joh 13:21-30).

See on Lu 22:7-23; Lu 22:39; and see on Joh 13:10, 11; Joh 13:18, 19; Joh 13:21-30.

Mr 14:27-31. The Desertion of Jesus by His Disciples and the Fall of Peter, Foretold. ( = Mt 26:31-35; Lu 22:31-38; Joh 13:36-38).

See on Lu 22:31-46.

Mr 14:32-42. The Agony in the Garden. ( = Mt 26:36-46; Lu 22:39-46).

See on Lu 22:39-46.

Mr 14:43-52. Betrayal and Apprehension of JesusFlight of His Disciples. ( = Mt 26:47-56; Lu 22:47-53; Joh 18:1-12).

See on Joh 18:1-12.

Mr 14:53-72. Jesus Arraigned before the Sanhedrim, Condemned to Die, and Shamefully EntreatedThe Fall of Peter. ( = Mt 26:57-75; Lu 22:54-71; Joh 18:13-18, 24-27).

Had we only the first three Gospels, we should have concluded that our Lord was led immediately to Caiaphas, and had before the Council. But as the Sanhedrim could hardly have been brought together at the dead hour of night—by which time our Lord was in the hands of the officers sent to take Him—and as it was only "as soon as it was day" that the Council met (Lu 22:66), we should have had some difficulty in knowing what was done with Him during those intervening hours. In the Fourth Gospel, however, all this is cleared up, and a very important addition to our information is made (Joh 18:13, 14, 19-24). Let us endeavor to trace the events in the true order of succession, and in the detail supplied by a comparison of all the four streams of text.

Jesus Is Brought Privately before Annas, the Father-in-Law of Caiaphas (Joh 18:13, 14).

Joh 18:13:

And they led Him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year—This successful Annas, as Ellicott remarks, was appointed high priest by Quirinus, A.D. 12, and after holding the office for several years, was deposed by Valerius Gratius, Pilate's predecessor in the procuratorship of Judea [Josephus, Antiquities, 18.2.1, &c.]. He appears, however, to have possessed vast influence, having obtained the high priesthood, not only for his son Eleazar, and his son-in-law Caiaphas, but subsequently for four other sons, under the last of whom James, the brother of our Lord, was put to death [Antiquities, 20.9.1]. It is thus highly probable that, besides having the title of "high priest" merely as one who had filled the office, he to a great degree retained the powers he had formerly exercised, and came to be regarded practically as a kind of rightful high priest.

Joh 18:14:

Now Caiaphas was he which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. See on Joh 11:51. What passed between Annas and our Lord during this interval the beloved disciple reserves till he has related the beginning of Peter's fall. To this, then, as recorded by our own Evangelist, let us meanwhile listen.

Peter Obtains Access within the Quadrangle of the High Priest's Residence, and Warms Himself at the Fire (Mr 14:53, 54).

53. And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled—or rather, "there gathered together unto him."

all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes—it was then a full and formal meeting of the Sanhedrim. Now, as the first three Evangelists place all Peter's denials of his Lord after this, we should naturally conclude that they took place while our Lord stood before the Sanhedrim. But besides that the natural impression is that the scene around the fire took place overnight, the second crowing of the cock, if we are to credit ancient writers, would occur about the beginning of the fourth watch, or between three and four in the morning. By that time, however, the Council had probably convened, being warned, perhaps, that they were to prepare for being called at any hour of the morning, should the Prisoner be successfully secured. If this be correct, it is fairly certain that only the last of Peter's three denials would take place while our Lord was under trial before the Sanhedrim. One thing more may require explanation. If our Lord had to be transferred from the residence of Annas to that of Caiaphas, one is apt to wonder that there is no mention of His being marched from the one to the other. But the building, in all likelihood, was one and the same; in which case He would merely have to be taken perhaps across the court, from one chamber to another.

54. And Peter followed him afar off, even into—or "from afar, even to the interior of."

the palace of the high priest—"An oriental house," says Robinson, "is usually built around a quadrangular interior court; into which there is a passage (sometimes arched) through the front part of the house, closed next the street by a heavy folding gate, with a smaller wicket for single persons, kept by a porter. The interior court, often paved or flagged, and open to the sky, is the hall, which our translators have rendered 'palace,' where the attendants made a fire; and the passage beneath the front of the house, from the street to this court, is the porch. The place where Jesus stood before the high priest may have been an open room, or place of audience on the ground floor, in the rear or on one side of the court; such rooms, open in front, being customary. It was close upon the court, for Jesus heard all that was going on around the fire, and turned and looked upon Peter (Lu 22:61)."

and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire—The graphic details, here omitted, are supplied in the other Gospels. Joh 18:18:

And the servants and officers stood there—that is, in the hall, within the quadrangle, open to the sky.

who had made a fire of coals—or charcoal (in a brazier probably).

for it was cold—John alone of all the Evangelists mentions the material, and the coldness of the night, as Webster and Wilkinson remark. The elevated situation of Jerusalem, observes Tholuck, renders it so cold about Easter as to make a watch fire at night indispensable.

And Peter stood with them and warmed himself—"He went in," says Matthew (Mt 26:58), "and sat with the servants to see the end." These two minute statements throw an interesting light on each other. His wishing to "see the end," or issue of these proceedings, was what led him into the palace, for he evidently feared the worst. But once in, the serpent coil is drawn closer; it is a cold night, and why should not he take advantage of the fire as well as others? Besides, in the talk of the crowd about the all-engrossing topic he may pick up something which he would like to hear. Poor Peter! But now, let us leave him warming himself at the fire, and listening to the hum of talk about this strange case by which the subordinate officials, passing to and fro and crowding around the fire in this open court, would while away the time; and, following what appears the order of the Evangelical Narrative, let us turn to Peter's Lord.

Jesus Is Interrogated by Annas—His Dignified Reply—Is Treated with Indignity by One of the Officials—His Meek Rebuke (Joh 18:19-23).

We have seen that it is only the Fourth Evangelist who tells us that our Lord was sent to Annas first, overnight, until the Sanhedrim could be got together at earliest dawn. We have now, in the same Gospel, the deeply instructive scene that passed during this non-official interview.

Joh 18:19:

The high priest—Annas.

then asked Jesus of His disciples and of His doctrine—probably to entrap Him into some statements which might be used against Him at the trial. From our Lord's answer it would seem that "His disciples" were understood to be some secret party.

Joh 18:20.

Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world—compare Joh 7:4. He speaks of His public teaching as now a past thing—as now all over.

I ever taught in the synagogue and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort—courting publicity, though with sublime noiselessness.

and in secret have I said nothing—rather, "spake I nothing"; that is, nothing different from what He taught in public: all His private communications with the Twelve being but explanations and developments of His public teaching. (Compare Isa 45:19; 48:16).

Joh 18:21:

Why askest thou Me? ask them which heard Me what I have said to them—rather, "what I said unto them."

behold, they know what I said—From this mode of replying, it is evident that our Lord saw the attempt to draw Him into self-crimination, and resented it by falling back upon the right of every accused party to have some charge laid against Him by competent witnesses.

Joh 18:22:

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?—(see Isa 50:6). It would seem from Ac 23:2 that this summary and undignified way of punishment what was deemed insolence in the accused had the sanction even of the high priests themselves.

Joh 18:23:

Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil—rather, "If I spoke evil," in reply to the high priest.

bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou Me?—He does not say "if not evil," as if His reply had been merely unobjectionable; but "if well," which seems to challenge something altogether fitting in the remonstrance. He had addressed to the high priest. From our Lord's procedure here, by the way, it is evident enough that His own precept in the Sermon on the Mount—that when smitten on the one cheek we are to turn to the smiter the other also (Mt 5:39)—is not to be taken to the letter.

Annas Sends Jesus to Caiaphas (Joh 18:24).

Joh 18:24.

Now Annas had sent Him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest—On the meaning of this verse there is much diversity of opinion; and according as we understand it will be the conclusion we come to, whether there was but one hearing of our Lord before Annas and Caiaphas together, or whether, according to the view we have given above, there were two hearings—a preliminary and informal one before Annas, and a formal and official one before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrim. If our translators have given the right sense of the verse, there was but one hearing before Caiaphas; and then Joh 18:24 is to be read as a parenthesis, merely supplementing what was said in Joh 18:13. This is the view of Calvin, Beza, Grotius, Bengel, De Wette, Meyer, Lucke, Tholuck. But there are decided objections to this view. First: We cannot but think that the natural sense of the whole passage, embracing Joh 18:13, 14, 19-24, is that of a preliminary non-official hearing before "Annas first," the particulars of which are accordingly recorded; and then of a transference of our Lord from Annas to Caiaphas. Second: On the other view, it is not easy to see why the Evangelist should not have inserted Joh 18:24 immediately after Joh 18:13; or rather, how he could well have done otherwise. As it stands, it is not only quite out of its proper place, but comes in most perplexingly. Whereas, if we take it as a simple statement of fact, that after Annas had finished his interview with Jesus, as recorded in Joh 18:19-23, he transferred Him to Caiaphas to be formally tried, all is clear and natural. Third: The pluperfect sense "had sent" is in the translation only; the sense of the original word being simply "sent." And though there are cases where the aorist here used has the sense of an English pluperfect, this sense is not to be put upon it unless it be obvious and indisputable. Here that is so far from being the case, that the pluperfect "had sent" is rather an unwarrantable interpretation than a simple translation of the word; informing the reader that, according to the view of our translators, our Lord "had been" sent to Caiaphas before the interview just recorded by the Evangelist; whereas, if we translate the verse literally—"Annas sent Him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest"—we get just the information we expect, that Annas, having merely "precognosced" the prisoner, hoping to draw something out of Him, "sent Him to Caiaphas" to be formally tried before the proper tribunal. This is the view of Chrysostom and Augustine among the Fathers; and of the moderns, of Olshausen, Schleiermacher, Neander, Ebrard, Wieseler, Lange, Luthardt. This brings us back to the text of our second Gospel, and in it to

The Judicial Trial and Condemnation of the Lord Jesus by the Sanhedrim (Mr 14:55-64).

But let the reader observe, that though this is introduced by the Evangelist before any of the denials of Peter are recorded, we have given reasons for concluding that probably the first two denials took place while our Lord was with Annas, and the last only during the trial before the Sanhedrim.

55. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death—Matthew (Mt 26:59) says they "sought false witness." They knew they could find nothing valid; but having their Prisoner to bring before Pilate, they behooved to make a case.

and found none—none that would suit their purpose, or make a decent ground of charge before Pilate.

56. For many bare false witness against him—From their debasing themselves to "seek" them, we are led to infer that they were bribed to bear false witness; though there are never wanting sycophants enough, ready to sell themselves for naught, if they may but get a smile from those above them: see a similar scene in Ac 6:11-14. How is one reminded here of that complaint, "False witnesses did rise up: they laid to my charge things that I knew not" (Ps 31:11)!

but their witness agreed not together—If even two of them had been agreed, it would have been greedily enough laid hold of, as all that the law insisted upon even in capital cases (De 17:6). But even in this they failed. One cannot but admire the providence which secured this result; since, on the one hand, it seems astonishing that those unscrupulous prosecutors and their ready tools should so bungle a business in which they felt their whole interests bound up; and, on the other hand, if they had succeeded in making even a plausible case, the effect on the progress of the Gospel might for a time have been injurious. But at the very time when His enemies were saying, "God hath forsaken Him; persecute and take Him; for there is none to deliver Him" (Ps 71:11), He whose Witness He was and whose work He was doing was keeping Him as the apple of His eye, and while He was making the wrath of man to praise Him, was restraining the remainder of that wrath (Ps 76:10).

57. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him—Matthew (Mt 26:60) is more precise here: "At the last came two false witnesses." As no two had before agreed in anything, they felt it necessary to secure a duplicate testimony to something, but they were long of succeeding. And what was it, when at length it was brought forward?

saying—as follows:

58. We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands—On this charge, observe, first, that eager as His enemies were to find criminal matter against our Lord, they had to go back to the outset of His ministry, His first visit to Jerusalem, more than three years before this. In all that He said and did after that, though ever increasing in boldness, they could find nothing. Next, that even then, they fix only on one speech, of two or three words, which they dared to adduce against Him. Further, they most manifestly pervert the speech of our Lord. We say not this because in Mark's form of it, it differs from the report of the words given by the Fourth Evangelist (Joh 2:18-22)—the only one of the Evangelists who reports it all, or mentions even any visit paid by our Lord to Jerusalem before His last—but because the one report bears truth, and the other falsehood, on its face. When our Lord said on that occasion, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," they might, for a moment, have understood Him to refer to the temple out of whose courts He had swept the buyers and sellers. But after they had expressed their astonishment at His words, in that sense of them, and reasoned upon the time it had taken to rear the temple as it then stood, since no answer to this appears to have been given by our Lord, it is hardly conceivable that they should continue in the persuasion that this was really His meaning. But finally, even if the more ignorant among them had done so, it is next to certain that the ecclesiastics, who were the prosecutors in this case, did not believe that this was His meaning. For in less than three days after this they went to Pilate, saying, "Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again" (Mt 27:63). Now what utterance of Christ known to His enemies, could this refer to, if not to this very saying about destroying and rearing up the temple? And if so, it puts it beyond a doubt that by this time, at least, they were perfectly aware that our Lord's words referred to His death by their hands and His resurrection by His own. But this is confirmed by Mr 14:59.

59. But neither so did their witness agree together—that is, not even as to so brief a speech, consisting of but a few words, was there such a concurrence in their mode of reporting it as to make out a decent case. In such a charge everything depended on the very terms alleged to have been used. For every one must see that a very slight turn, either way, given to such words, would make them either something like indictable matter, or else a ridiculous ground for a criminal charge—would either give them a colorable pretext for the charge of impiety which they were bent on making out, or else make the whole saying appear, on the worst view that could be taken of it, as merely some mystical or empty boast.

60. Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?—Clearly, they felt that their case had failed, and by this artful question the high priest hoped to get from His own mouth what they had in vain tried to obtain from their false and contradictory witnesses. But in this, too, they failed.

61. But he held his peace, and answered nothing—This must have nonplussed them. But they were not to be easily baulked of their object.

Again the high priest—arose (Mt 26:62), matters having now come to a crisis.

asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?—Why our Lord should have answered this question, when He was silent as to the former, we might not have quite seen, but for Matthew, who says (Mt 26:63) that the high priest put Him upon solemn oath, saying, "I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God." Such an adjuration was understood to render an answer legally necessary (Le 5:1). (Also see on Joh 18:28.)

62. And Jesus said, I am—or, as in Matthew (Mt 26:64), "Thou hast said [it]." In Luke, however (Lu 22:70), the answer, "Ye say that I am," should be rendered—as De Wette, Meyer, Ellicott, and the best critics agree that the preposition requires—"Ye say [it], for I am [so]." Some words, however, were spoken by our Lord before giving His answer to this solemn question. These are recorded by Luke alone (Lu 22:67, 68): "Art Thou the Christ [they asked]? tell us. And He said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I also ask [interrogate] "you, ye will not answer Me, nor let Me go." This seems to have been uttered before giving His direct answer, as a calm remonstrance and dignified protest against the prejudgment of His case and the unfairness of their mode of procedure. But now let us hear the rest of the answer, in which the conscious majesty of Jesus breaks forth from behind the dark cloud which overhung Him as He stood before the Council. (Also see on Joh 18:28.)

and—in that character.

ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven—In Matthew (Mt 26:64) a slightly different but interesting turn is given to it by one word: "Thou hast said [it]: nevertheless"—We prefer this sense of the word to "besides," which some recent critics decide for—"I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sit on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." The word rendered "hereafter" means, not "at some future time" (as to-day "hereafter" commonly does), but what the English word originally signified, "after here," "after now," or "from this time." Accordingly, in Lu 22:69, the words used mean "from now." So that though the reference we have given it to the day of His glorious Second Appearing is too obvious to admit of doubt, He would, by using the expression, "From this time," convey the important thought which He had before expressed, immediately after the traitor left the supper table to do his dark work, "Now is the Son of man glorified" (Joh 13:31). At this moment, and by this speech, did He "witness the good confession" emphatically and properly, as the apostle says in 1Ti 6:13. Our translators render the words there, "Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed"; referring it to the admission of His being a King, in the presence of Cæsar's own chief representative. But it should be rendered, as Luther renders it, and as the best interpreters now understand it, "Who under Pontius Pilate witnessed," &c. In this view of it, the apostle is referring not to what our Lord confessed before Pilate—which, though noble, was not of such primary importance—but to that sublime confession which, under Pilate's administration, He witnessed before the only competent tribunal on such occasions, the Supreme Ecclesiastical Council of God's chosen nation, that He was THE Messiah, and THE Son of the Blessed One; in the former word owning His Supreme Official, in the latter His Supreme Personal, Dignity.

63. Then the high priest rent his clothes—On this expression of horror of blasphemy, see 2Ki 18:37.

and saith, What need we any further witnesses? (Also see on Joh 18:28.)

64. Ye have heard the blasphemy—(See Joh 10:33). In Luke (Lu 22:71), "For we ourselves have heard of His own mouth"—an affectation of religious horror. (Also see on Joh 18:28.)

what think ye?—"Say what the verdict is to be."

they all condemned him to be guilty of death—or of a capital crime, which blasphemy against God was according to the Jewish law (Le 24:16). Yet not absolutely all; for Joseph of Arimathea, "a good man and a just," was one of that Council, and "he was not a consenting party to the counsel and deed of them," for that is the strict sense of the words of Lu 23:50, 51. Probably he absented himself, and Nicodemus also, from this meeting of the Council, the temper of which they would know too well to expect their voice to be listened to; and in that case, the words of our Evangelist are to be taken strictly, that, without one dissentient voice, "all [present] condemned him to be guilty of death."

The Blessed One Is Now Shamefully Entreated (Mr 14:65).

Every word here must be carefully observed, and the several accounts put together, that we may lose none of the awful indignities about to be described.

65. And some began to spit on him—or, as in Mt 26:67, "to spit in [into] His face." Luke (Lu 22:63) says in addition, "And the men that held Jesus mocked him"—or cast their jeers at Him. (Also see on Joh 18:28.)

to cover his face—or "to blindfold him" (as in Lu 22:64).

to buffet him—Luke's word, which is rendered "smote Him" (Lu 22:63), is a stronger one, conveying an idea for which we have an exact equivalent in English, but one too colloquial to be inserted here.

began to say unto him, Prophesy—In Matthew (Mt 26:68) this is given more fully: "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote Thee?" The sarcastic fling at Him as "the Christ," and the demand of Him in this character to name the unseen perpetrator of the blows inflicted on Him, was in them as infamous as to Him it must have been, and was intended to be, stinging.

and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands—or "struck Him on the face" (Lu 22:64). Ah! Well did He say prophetically, in that Messianic prediction which we have often referred to, "I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and spitting!" (Isa 50:6). "And many other things blasphemously spake they against Him" (Lu 22:65). This general statement is important, as showing that virulent and varied as were the recorded affronts put upon Him, they are but a small specimen of what He endured on that dark occasion.

Peter's First Denial of His Lord (Mr 14:66-68).

66. And as Peter was beneath in the palace—This little word "beneath"—one of our Evangelist's graphic touches—is most important for the right understanding of what we may call the topography of the scene. We must take it in connection with Matthew's word (Mt 26:69): "Now Peter sat without in the palace"—or quadrangular court, in the center of which the fire would be burning; and crowding around and buzzing about it would be the menials and others who had been admitted within the court. At the upper end of this court, probably, would be the memorable chamber in which the trial was held—open to the court, likely, and not far from the fire (as we gather from Lu 22:61), but on a higher level; for (as our verse says) the court, with Peter in it, was "beneath" it. The ascent to the Council chamber was perhaps by a short flight of steps. If the reader will bear this explanation in mind, he will find the intensely interesting details which follow more intelligible.

there cometh one of the maids of the high priest—"the damsel that kept the door" (Joh 18:17). The Jews seem to have employed women as porters of their doors (Ac 12:13).

67. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him—Luke (Lu 22:56) is here more graphic; "But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire"—literally, "by the light," which, shining full upon him, revealed him to the girl—"and earnestly looked upon him"—or, "fixed her gaze upon him." His demeanor and timidity, which must have attracted notice, as so generally happens, "leading," says Olshausen, "to the recognition of him."

and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth—"with Jesus the Nazarene," or, "with Jesus of Galilee" (Mt 26:69). The sense of this is given in John's report of it (Joh 18:17), "Art not thou also one of this man's disciples?" that is, thou as well as "that other disciple," whom she knew to be one, but did not challenge, perceiving that he was a privileged person. In Luke (Lu 22:56) it is given as a remark made by the maid to one of the by-standers—"this man was also with Him." If so expressed in Peter's hearing—drawing upon him the eyes of every one that heard it (as we know it did, Mt 26:70), and compelling him to answer to it—that would explain the different forms of the report naturally enough. But in such a case this is of no real importance.

68. But he denied—"before all" (Mt 26:70).

saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest—in Luke (Lu 22:57), "I know Him not."

And he went out into the porch—the vestibule leading to the street—no doubt finding the fire-place too hot for him; possibly also with the hope of escaping—but that was not to be, and perhaps he dreaded that, too. Doubtless by this time his mind would be getting into a sea of commotion, and would fluctuate every moment in its resolves.

AND THE COCK CREW—(See on Lu 22:34). This, then, was the First Denial.

Peter's Second Denial of His Lord (Mr 14:69, 70).

There is here a verbal difference among the Evangelists, which without some information which has been withheld, cannot be quite extricated.

69. And a maid saw him again—or, "a girl." It might be rendered "the girl"; but this would not necessarily mean the same one as before, but might, and probably does, mean just the female who had charge of the door or gate near which Peter now was. Accordingly, in Mt 26:71, she is expressly called "another [maid]." But in Luke (Lu 22:58) it is a male servant: "And after a little while [from the time of the first denial] another"—that is, as the word signifies, "another male" servant. But there is no real difficulty, as the challenge, probably, after being made by one was reiterated by another. Accordingly, in John (Joh 18:25), it is, "They said therefore unto him, &c.—as if more than one challenged him at once.

and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them—or, as in Mt 26:71—"This [fellow] was also with Jesus the Nazarene."

70. And he denied it again—In Luke (Lu 22:58), "Man, I am not." But worst of all in Matthew—"And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man" (Mt 26:72). This was the Second Denial, more vehement, alas! than the first.

Peter's Third Denial of His Lord (Mr 14:70-72).

70. And a little after—"about the space of one hour after" (Lu 22:59).

they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto—"bewrayeth [or 'discovereth'] thee" (Mt 26:73). In Luke (Lu 22:59) it is, "Another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this [fellow] also was with him: for he is a Galilean." The Galilean dialect had a more Syrian cast than that of Judea. If Peter had held his peace, this peculiarity had not been observed; but hoping, probably, to put them off the scent by joining in the fireside talk, he was thus discovered. The Fourth Gospel is particularly interesting here: "One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman [or kinsman to him] whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with Him?" (Joh 18:26). No doubt his relationship to Malchus drew his attention to the man who had smitten him, and this enabled him to identify Peter. "Sad reprisals!" exclaims Bengel. Poor Peter! Thou art caught in thine own toils; but like a wild bull in a net, thou wilt toss and rage, filling up the measure of thy terrible declension by one more denial of thy Lord, and that the foulest of all.

71. But he began to curse—"anathematize," or wish himself accursed if what he was now to say was not true.

and to swear—or to take a solemn oath.

saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

72. And the second time the cock crew—The other three Evangelists, who mention but one crowing of the cock—and that not the first, but the second and last one of Mark—all say the cock crew "immediately," but Luke (Lu 22:60) says, "Immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew." Alas!—But now comes the wonderful sequel.

The Redeemer's Look upon Peter, and Peter's Bitter Tears (Mr 14:72; Lu 22:61, 62).

It has been observed that while the beloved disciple is the only one of the four Evangelists who does not record the repentance of Peter, he is the only one of the four who records the affecting and most beautiful scene of his complete restoration (Joh 21:15-17).

Lu 22:61:

And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter—How? it will be asked. We answer, From the chamber in which the trial was going on, in the direction of the court where Peter then stood—in the way already explained. See on Mr 14:66. Our Second Evangelist makes no mention of this look, but dwells on the warning of his Lord about the double crowing of the cock, which would announce his triple fall, as what rushed stingingly to his recollection and made him dissolve in tears.

And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept—To the same effect is the statement of the First Evangelist (Mt 26:75), save that like "the beloved physician," he notices the "bitterness" of the weeping (Lu 22:62). The most precious link, however, in the whole chain of circumstances in this scene is beyond doubt that "look" of deepest, tenderest import reported by Luke alone (Lu 22:61). Who can tell what lightning flashes of wounded love and piercing reproach shot from that "look" through the eye of Peter into his heart!

And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice.

Lu 22:62:

And Peter went out and wept bitterly—How different from the sequel of Judas' act! Doubtless the hearts of the two men towards the Saviour were perfectly different from the first; and the treason of Judas was but the consummation of the wretched man's resistance of the blaze of light in the midst of which he had lived for three years, while Peter's denial was but a momentary obscuration of the heavenly light and love to his Master which ruled his life. But the immediate cause of the blessed revulsion which made Peter "weep bitterly" (Mt 26:75) was, beyond all doubt, this heart-piercing "look" which his Lord gave him. And remembering the Saviour's own words at the table, "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not" (Lu 22:31, 32), may we not say that this prayer fetched down all that there was in that look to pierce and break the heart of Peter, to keep it from despair, to work in it "repentance unto salvation not to be repented of," and at length, under other healing touches, to "restore his soul?" (See on Mr 16:7).




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