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
I left you with some questions to ponder. Now let’s look at them in turn.
What is the nature of the layout of the house which enables all of the action described by the gospel writers to take place?
We have seen from the text of the gospels that Peter was sitting outside, in the middle of the, below. Some are confused by these various terms and feel they are contradictory. The word used in Matthew’s account is ἔξω the meaning of which is outside, (out of doors), out (of, -ward). The concept appears to be outside in the courtyard, rather than outside of the courtyard. It’s outside the house in the courtyard, rather than outside of the courtyard and house complex. Sure for a while he was in that latter position until John tells us one on of the disciples managed to gain entry for Peter. Probably John himself, but we are not told specifically. John has the habit of keeping his own involvement discrete through his gospel. So there is nothing really contradictory about the location described by all of the gospel writers as to where Peter was in the complex. It is perfectly possible that he be sitting outside the house, probably even outside in the open rather than in the enclosed house, in the middle of the courtyard down below.
It seems the set up at Caiaphas’ house was such that the house was at least two levels and in the middle of the structure was an open courtyard. In the middle of this courtyard area was an area what was separated off by a chest high wall in which trials too place. There are two solutions suggested for the events described in the gospels. It is most likely that Jesus was taken into the walled area to be tried along with members of the Sanhedrin and some of the members of the temple guard. It is not likely that all members of the guard went into the inner circle, there were too many of them. Just sufficient to guard Jesus. Thus all the players are down on one level and it is possible for Peter to see Jesus even though they are not in the same area. He can see over the chest wall. The other suggestion posited is that Jesus was taken to the upper level of house but from which He could see down into the courtyard and that Peter is down below I nthe middle of the courtyard outside the house. This gives a more limited view of a person upstairs by a person downstairs but still possible though likely not all the time. Each scenario is possible given the layout of Caiaphas’ house.
How can you harmonize the “discrepancies” in the denial story as told by the gospel writers?
Take a look at the comparative columns I have laid out for you and see what you can do to harmonize the apparent discrepancies. Also take time to investigate when the cock crows in each gospel account. It’s interesting.
Treat both praise/applause & criticism like bubble gum. Chew on it, but never swallow.Sidney Mohede
If you can’t get happy in the valley you won’t be happy on the mountaintop.Joyce Meyer
The way to handle constant criticism is to cultivate BOTH a tough skin and a tender heart.Rick Warren
They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them.Mahatma Gandhi