I knew he was one of them. He had that funny accent, we don’t get many of their type around here – except at Passover, the city’s crawling with them. I don’t know what all the fuss was about. What was he doing in the courtyard of Caiaphas, the High Priest, at that time in the morning anyway? If he wasn’t one of them it’s a strange place to be in a strange city at a strange time.
The priests have got a problem with this Jesus from Nazareth. They say he’s a blasphemer. I saw the High Priest’s cloak – it’s been ripped. That’s the most powerful gesture the High Priest can make. That Jesus’ll be for it now. I don’t wish it on him though. But he blasphemed and our law says he must die for it.
That funny northerner ran off in the end. I’ve never seen such a haunted look on a man’s face…
Prayer for Wednesday:
Jesus, help me to discern how to help people by saying the right words at the right time.
Help me to be there for those who need me.
Thank you that you are our comfort, our ever present help in times of trouble.
Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
“You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
Peter Disowns Jesus
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
(Matthew 26:57-75, New International Version, ©2011)