Summary of passage: Jesus was arrested and taken to Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law. Peter and John followed Jesus. John went with Jesus while Peter waited outside. When asked by a little girl if he was one of the disciples, Peter denies Jesus for the first time.
Annas questions Jesus who is struck by a soldier. He’s shipped off to Caiaphas. Meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a second and third time. A rooster crows.
9) He just starts questioning Jesus, blatantly disregarding Jewish law and trying to get Jesus to incriminate himself. He feels he is above the law. He allows Jesus to be struck. He doesn’t care about human dignity or abuse. He ships him off to Caiaphas when he’s done with him with not a care in the world about what will happen to Jesus.
10) Personal Question. My answer: He always maintains his composure. He throws the law into both Caiaphas’ face and the unknown official who struck him. He protects his disciples by refusing to mention them. He doesn’t panic. He submits but always letting his captors know they are in the wrong.
Conclusions: We all know this trial won’t be fair and it starts here from the beginning. Jewish law states witnesses must be called forth first, beginning with the defense. The Talmud states, “Criminal processes can neither commence nor terminate, but during the course of the day. If the person be acquitted, the sentence may be pronounced during that day; but, if he be condemned, the sentence cannot be pronounced till the next day. But no kind of judgment is to be executed, either on the eve of the Sabbath, or the eve of any festival.” It’s the dead of night here. People corrupted by power known no bounds and care not for law and order.
End Notes: Annas was the power behind the throne in Jerusalem. He himself had been High Priest from AD 6 to 15. Four of his sons had also held the high priesthood and Caiaphas was his son-in-law. His name meant “Yahweh is gracious”. He is still called the high priest in Acts 4:6 when Peter and John are arrested.
One reason John reminds us of what Caiaphas said in John 11:49-52 is to show that the judgment against Jesus was already decided. It would not be a fair trial. He would die for the people.
John who had the connections is the reason they had access to the high priest’s house and the reason we know what went on there.
A mere girl scares Peter enough to deny Christ and then he tries to blend into the crowd and shrink himself by standing around a fire with others. How tragic!
Annas means merciful. Ironic.
Jesus was not going to throw his disciples under the bus. He never mentions them. He asks for evidence in asking for others to testify to his words. This should have been the first step Annas should have taken for one accused of crimes. But there would be no fairness here for Jesus. He was a threat that had to be annihilated.
The first blow is laid upon Jesus be an unnamed official. Jesus calls the man out and having no answer, Annas sends Jesus on, still bound.
Luke 22:61 indicates that Peter could see Jesus and see him being slapped. No doubt his fear increased and he lied twice more. John is also present and Peter lied in front of John. The same question is asked in the same way, using the negative. The questioners expected the answer “No”, not expecting a follower of Jesus amongst them. The questioner is identified differently in all Gospels (Matthew 26:71; Mark 14:69; Luke 22:58).
John would know Malchus’ relative and a relative would be eager to know if this was the man who cut off his relative’s ear. Matthew 26:74 tells us Peter cursed this denial. He was adamant and he was a coward.
The rooster crowing fulfilled what Jesus said in John 13:38, and would have immediately reminded Peter of the prediction Jesus made in the upper room. And I would imagine shame would have flooded Peter.