So they arrested Him and led Him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!” But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!” After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!” “No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted. About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.” But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.Luke 22:54-62
- Common Material shared between the gospel accounts
- Uniquely Matthew
- Uniquely Mark
- Uniquely Luke
- Uniquely John
Did you find this exercise puzzling or was it straight forward? It is interesting the way Robertson and other harmonies place the verses related to Peter in Matt 26:58, Mark 14:53 and Luke 22:54 with the trial at Caiaphas’ house. From the point of the guards arresting Jesus and taking Him to the High Priest’s house, the synoptic gospel writers tell us Peter was following at a distance. But it seems the mere mention of Peter in the verses I have singled out above has been sufficient to influence the “Harmonies” to place those verses in the unit relating to Peter’s denial and its fulfilment. However removing those two verses in the gospel accounts misplaces them in time. They rightly belong in the segment above, in order with the other verses. Yet Peter is cast pointedly into the midst of the trial and condemnation of Jesus. According to both Matthew and Mark, Peter was “present” at the trial, yet down in the courtyard.
Meanwhile, Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.Matthew 26:69
Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below.Mark 14:66
Both of these gospel writers include the trial and mocking then follow it with Peter’s denial. I don’t believe these verses ought to have been separated in the harmonies. It all belongs together. It is just that Luke and John don’t make the trial and the mocking a feature of what they wanted to say. It is clear this is all sequential. Peter is present. There is some question as to where he is in relation to what is happening to Jesus. Matthew places Peter outside in the courtyard. Mark has him down below in the courtyard. There is no problem with that. Both of those statements can be accurate at the same time. Luke places Peter in the middle of the courtyard around the fire. Again no problem, when we read John’s account we see there was a period of time when Peter had to stay outside the gate and was not allowed to come into the courtyard. But later he gained entry having got permission to enter through the connection of the other disciple. All of this can be fitted together without contradiction if we just a do a little detective work.
It is clear from a fleeting glance at the above layout that Matthew and Mark spend a considerable amount of time focused on the trial at Caiaphas’ house. Luke and John on the other hand give it no air time at all. Their focus is the fulfillment of the prediction of the Peter’s betrayal of Jesus. This is the reason that the harmonies treat the material as they do. The fact that Peter followed at a distance is placed with the pericope on Peter’s betrayal is significant to that pericope. But it is also the bridging verse between the arrest and the movement to Caiaphas’ house. So when you divide the periscopes in a harmony of the gospels between the trial at Caiaphas’ house and Peter’s denial it becomes a practical problem of where to put those two verses. Not only that but there is also an issue of the various trials and just how many of them there were given the way each gospel writer handles the facts. It is this which makes it all complicated.
For our purposes however we have two pericope to look at in detail.
- 155. Jesus hurriedly tried and condemned by Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, who mock and buffet Him
- 156. Peter thrice denies His Lord
Because we are focused on Luke I am going to handle the material in the order in which Luke gave it to us and not follow the ordering of the Harmonies. All three harmonies of the gospel which I have access to at the moment (Crockett, Robertson and Thomas and Gundry) all order the material the same way. In these Gems we will deal with the account in the order in which Luke wrote it. Our focus is after all Luke’s Gospel. But I will use the other gospel accounts to compare and contrast in order to determine Luke’s changes: omissions, additions and reordering. Hence the reason for me giving you Luke’s portion above the Harmony account in these last Gem. Now you have the coloured version you can start to pick out the detail of the way Luke has used the material available to him. That will “colour” the way you look at what Luke has written for you and how you interpret it.
We will start the dealing with the detail of it all tomorrow.
If you don’t know what you are doing wrong, you can never know what you are doing right.Chen Xinhua
If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.Michelangelo
That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex.Steve Jobs
When you don’t really want to or feel like doing what needs to be done, do it and then you will feel like doing it.Zig Ziglar
Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.Winston Churchill