12 So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, 13 and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people. 15 Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in.
Ok, so the path to the cross has begun for Jesus. As He would say, “His time has come.” Let’s try to understand the scene here. Firstly, we should understand that all the trials that Jesus went through aren’t all recorded in one book. Rather, they are recorded as seen by the writers (or in Luke’s case, how witnesses explained it). My study bible has the order laid out in a nice little table which I am including to help with this. I’ll try to remember to include it in my following posts so we can follow it better.
The Roman cohort is the 600 soldiers that they brought to arrest Jesus which we talked about last time. We then see mention of the commander and officers of the Jews. You see, the Romans were in control of the Jews. It wasn’t as bad as their slavery in Egypt, however the Jews were more or less placated so they didn’t riot, even though the Roman government had control over them. That is why Jesus is taken to the religious leaders first. If the Jews couldn’t settle it, then they were allowed to bring it to the Romans. Additionally, the sentence of death wasn’t supposed to be carried out by the Jews. It gave them too much power. This is a very important element. You see, Jesus (as Messiah) was expected by the Jews to be a political hero. Their prophecies of Him coming to rescue them from bondage and oppression to them was only physical. They thought their problem was man’s authority over them. They didn’t realize that He came to free them from something more powerful with a freedom more important than just politics. This is important to keep in mind throughout this part of the story. The officers of the Jews were the local authorities who ruled over the Jews.
In 13 and 14 we read this bit about Annas and Caiaphas. Ok…skip over, right? No, John mentioned this about 7 chapters back. He is referring to the beginning of the plot to kill Jesus. I talked about this in my post on The Character of God, when Caiaphas prophesied the death of Jesus to save the nation.
Next we see that Peter and John (the author of this book, aka “another disciple”) are following this crowd to see what happens to Jesus. It is here that we get a glimpse of John’s stature in the community. He was known by the high priest. He was not only known, but he was also respected enough that he was able to get his friend, Peter, to be part of the audience in the court to see what happens.
I wanted to pause here for the day since we generally skim over this part to get to the part we are used to: Peter denying Jesus. Let us put ourselves in the shoes of Peter and John for a moment. This guy they look up to and have been learning from and following for 3 years is taken away. He already told them this was going to happen and even though they didn’t want to believe it…it was happening. He said He was going to be killed. I wonder if they were thinking, “Is this it? Are they going to kill Him now or is He going to get out of it?” This is one of those dawning moments of uncertainty when you start reflecting upon what was said and done. Sometimes we look at current events and try to match it up with prophecy, unsure if we are witnessing the prophecy coming true or not. These guys had no clue what was about to happen.
What would you have done? Would you have scattered or would you have followed? What will you do today? How will you act under trial?