Trial and Denial
Topic: The Gospel Passage: John 18:13–18:27
In this passage, John provided a dramatic play by play, side by side narration of Jesus’ trial and Peter’s denial by weaving together TWO INTERROGATIONS which were carried out simultaneously by Annas and his subordinates that contrast the majesty of Christ and the depravity of man.
1. JESUS DEBRIEFED BY ANNAS (vv. 13-14, 19-24)
Annas was the Father-in-Law of Ciaphus, who had served as High Priest that year. Annas himself was previously High Priest and an expert in matters concerning religious practice and politics. He was also responsible for maintaining the bazaar in the Temple that Jesus had disrupted on two occasions. Annas questioned Jesus about His disciples and also about the things He had been teaching so that He would incriminate Himself (i.e., testify against Himself). This was not legal as it required at least two witnesses to testify against the accused. In spite of this, Jesus delivered indisputable truth in His defense.
2. JESUS DISAVOWED BY PETER (vv. 15-18, 25-27)
This occurrence was notable in the eyes of the other apostles. Peter first denied that he was a follower of Christ moments after drawing his sword in defense of Jesus when He was arrested. But it is a testament to God’s sovereign control over the entire situation that He even made the roster crow upon Peter’s third denial, which was in fulfillment of Jesus’ prophesy to Peter (Matthew 26:75). The sorrow that Peter experienced was so profound that he confessed his sin and repented. This is in stark contrast to worldly sorrow, which does not lead to repentance and change (2 Corinthians 7:9).
Thank God that no matter what you do and no matter how terrible you think your sin is, He always desires to forgive you and restore you if you are willing to repent. Ask Him to continue to perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you in your faith.