We are going to be looking at one of the stories that made it into all four gospels. Not many stories make that cut but this one did. I’m not sure what God is going to bring out of this story tonight but we will find out together.
Feel free to pop back over and revisit the previous tellings of this story if you want to. In “I Don’t Know This Man” we see the story from Peter’s perspective. In “The Bird is Heard” we look at the scene from Jesus perspective. And in “A Story Everyone Needs to Hear” we look at why even Peter shared this event with any who would listen.
While reading John’s account I noticed a couple of things. The first thing I noticed was that “another disciple” going along with Peter as they followed Jesus is only told about by John. We have come to accept that it is John who is the unnamed disciple. This is because of him referring to himself many times in his telling of Jesus’ story and not actually stating his name. He often refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. Since he didn’t use that verbiage in this instance could he have been referring to someone else? If not, how did he know the high priest enough that he could order around his servants? Could this “disciple” have actually been Nicodemus? Certainly he would have fit that description.
Something else I noticed was that the other disciple was known to be one of Jesus’ followers, at least by the servant girl. Was she secretly a follower of Jesus? Had the other disciple discussed Jesus’ teachings with her? What did she think of the proceedings? Was she rooting for Jesus or her master?
I have also always wanted to know what became of the other disciple once inside the courtyard. Why do we hear nothing of his behavior during Jesus first “trial”? Did he stand silently by as Jesus was mocked, hit and spit on? We know that John was at the foot of the cross as Jesus hung there. If he was the one present in Caiaphas’ courtyard did he follow Jesus to each destination that night? Was he there at Pilot’s home? If not, when did he leave and what did he do while absent?
I know this is Peter’s story, but I’m curious. Another thing I’m curious about is, if this other disciple truly was John, what did he say to the rest of Jesus’ disciples about this event as they waited those three days? What did Peter say to them?
Another question that just popped into my mind is what did Peter say to those he met in the garden that night if he met them again after Jesus’ resurrection. What a powerful testimony of restoration and forgiveness he had to offer to those who had witnessed his betrayal that night. I wonder if God brought any of them across Peter’s path later on.
My final question is this; did the other disciple in attendance feel as guilty about his inactivity as Peter did about his denial? “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing” (Edmond Burke). We know that everything Jesus went through was part of God’s plan so nothing Peter or the other disciple did could alter the course of events. But BOTH men now had testimonies that they could and probably did share with countless others. Without our fallen heroes we wouldn’t know grace or what God could do with a repentant heart.
Thank You Lord for sharing the stories of failure right along with the stories of triumph. Thank You that You never leave us in our failures. You are right there to pick us back up, if we allow You to. Judas didn’t allow You to offer him hope. Peter did. So did our unnamed friend in the garden that night. Father God remind me over and over again of Your restorative power when I fail. Not IF but WHEN. Remind me of the love waiting for me back on Your lap.
I know I have missed several days of sitting with You. You know my reasons for some of them are sound but last night I simply chose sleep instead. I miss our time when I don’t come. Thank You for bringing me back again. Thank You for all the joy You brought with my grandkids this last weekend. I am SO blessed to have them all and to be able to do things with them. Thank You for giving me the creativity and family time that is Camp NaPa.