Tom: We’re continuing with the gospel. We’re in the Gospel of John:18:15: “And Simon Peter followed Jesus and so did another disciple. That disciple was know unto the High Priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the High Priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the High Priest, and spake unto her that kept the door and brought in Peter. Then sayeth the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? And he saith, I am not. And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals, for it was cold. And they warmed themselves, and Peter stood with them and warmed himself.”
Dave: Ahh, this is quite a passage, Tom. You know one of the marks of the Bible is it doesn’t pull any punches. It doesn’t cover up…
Tom: It shows blemishes.
Tom: And worse…
Dave: And Jesus had warned Peter: Peter said, “Though all forsake you, yet will not I. I’ll die with you.” And we sometimes forget, “…likewise said all the disciples.” They all said that. Then they all forsook him and fled. But now Peter, I guess his conscience is bothering him, you know. Well, I did say, Lord, I wouldn’t forsake you. So he follows afar off.
And there’s another disciple, and of course we…this disciple remains unnamed, and this is how John refers to himself: “The disciple that Jesus loved,” “the other disciple,” and here we have this other disciple going to the door—well, he was known to the High Priest. And this other disciple who knew the High Priest, he asked the young woman who was there at the door, “Let this guy in, too.”
And so Peter comes in, and he warms himself there, and so forth. You see these two disciples together again after the resurrection, remember, when they’re told that Jesus is alive, and Peter and John—well it doesn’t say “John”—the other disciple, run to the sepulcher. It says, “The other disciple did outrun Peter.” He comes first, but he’s just cautiously looking in, and Peter, he walks right in. He’s very impulsive. So, here we have these two together again, and this woman who’s keeping the door, “Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples?”
He said, “I am not.” Wow!
Jesus said, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And maybe we ought to…there’s some confusion in some people’s minds, because Mark tells us that Christ said to Peter, “before the cock crows twice, you will deny me thrice.” But the other gospels say, “Before the cock crows, you will deny me thrice.” We deal with this, Tom, along with many other things. This is one of the so-called contradictions that the atheists, the skeptics, the critics, have pointed out, and…
Tom: In Defense of the Faith…
Dave: Right. One of my books In Defense of the Faith—maybe Gary can offer that, I don’t know—but that’s one of the many things that we deal with like this. I have rather large files of what the skeptics have tried to point out as being wrong, or contradictory, in the Bible, and so we try to answer many of those. Well, I think it’s fairly clear, if we think of it—in fact, if we went back to Mark, he denies Christ—this is Mark:14:68: It’s telling the same thing that John is telling us here. But it says what John doesn’t tell us—it’s going into more detail now. On this first denial, immediately, a rooster crows. Now, but it’s about an hour later before he finally makes the third denial of Christ. So there was apparently a period of time before—in other words, You have a rooster. He’s not in sync with the rest of them. The guy’s jumping the gun. Why? Just to warn Peter! “Peter, remember what I said?” And as soon as he makes that first denial, there’s a rooster crows. Well, then it was after the third denial that now they all start going. That’s the time of the “cock crowing,” you know, they all start in together.
Tom: Dave, I live next door to roosters. Yeah, so, I can identify with this big time…
Dave: (Laughing) Okay.
Tom: (Laughing) I’m not kidding, by the way.
Dave: Well, Peter is warming himself around a fire with the enemies of Christ! Incredible! And denying that he knows Jesus, and yet he’s torn, you know. Why is he there? Because he said he wouldn’t forsake the Lord. So he follows along, and…but in his own flesh. It’s like what we were talking about before, Tom. Not watching pornography, or whatever. Peter swore in his own strength, in his own flesh, he is going to be faithful to the Lord. He’s trying. And it leads him deeper, deeper into denial.
Well, “Peter stood with them and warmed himself.” What a tragic statement.
Tom: Dave, I can think of times—I think of them with great shame—that I just did the wrong thing. I knew better. I thought in my strength—it was almost like that didn’t even come into play. The situation was up and I did the wrong thing. That which I didn’t want to do, I did. And that which I wanted to do I couldn’t do in my own strength. Wow.
Dave: Well, sometimes we have an opportunity to witness for the Lord, and we don’t open our mouth. Are we ashamed, or maybe we’re just slothful? But Peter is getting in pretty deep now. The High Priest, v. 19, asks Jesus—and I get the picture that Peter can hear what’s going on and he can see what’s going on, because Christ is going to turn to him when he has finally denied Him for the third time. And He’s going to look at him, and Peter will go out and weep bitterly.
But the High Priest asked Jesus of His disciples and of His doctrine. John:18:20: “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world. I ever taught in the synagogue and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort, and in secret have I said nothing. Why asketh thou me? Ask them which heard me what I have said unto them. Behold, they know what I said.”
Now, “in secret I’ve said nothing”—Tom, that reminds you of Isaiah:48:16, where, well, you can read the verses before. It’s obvious that God is speaking, and God says, this one who is God, He says, “You can go back to the beginning, and there I am. As far back as you can go in the beginning, there I am. In the beginning, God…”, you know, and He’s the One who speaks: “I…” and then He says, this one who is God says, “I have not spoken in secret.” Jesus is quoting the Scriptures and He is pointing out to them He is God. And yet this One in Isaiah:48:16, who says, “From the beginning I have spoken, and not in secret….” He’s the Word of God. And then He says, “…and the Lord God and his Spirit have sent me.” So you have the Trinity. You have one who claims to be God who speaks for God, and yet He says, “The Lord God and His Spirit sent me.”
“The Father sent the Son to be the savior of the world….” And Christ is powerfully declaring His deity. Powerfully declaring….
Tom: But, Dave, along that line, just for some who may not understand, when the Bible says, “In the beginning,” it doesn’t mean God’s beginning. It means our beginning.
Dave: Right. Exactly. The beginning of the universe. And the beginning of time. Well, when Jesus says, “Why do you ask me? Why don’t you ask them? I didn’t speak in secret,” it says, “When he had thus spoken, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answereth thou the High Priest so? Jesus answered, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me?”
He has declared His deity. If these priests know the Scriptures, which they should, they should know what He is saying. But He is smitten for this, for answering honestly to the High Priest.
Tom: But they were caught up in their own agenda—they had an agenda for what they wanted to do to Him.
Dave: They were determined to crucify Him.