The guard wouldn’t let him in. It was cold outside, enough to need a fire, but the woman guard of the high priest said no. That is until the disciple “known by the high priest” vouched for him and he was able to enter. Although not without some questions.
“Didn’t you know him?” the female guard asked. Twice Peter said no. But maybe it was just because she was a woman. Except then Malchus’ relative, the same Malchus earlier that evening whose ear Peter had cut off, his relative questioned him. “Didn’t I see you with him in the olive grove?”
Peter said no, wasn’t him. He warmed himself in the fire even while his heart grew cooler.
I have to wonder what was going through Peter’s mind in this moment of denial. Some might say it was fear which I’m sure part of it was. But this was Peter who hadn’t hesitated to chop off an ear perhaps less than an hour ago. Yes, Jesus had stilled him and healed Malchus, but Peter was ready to fight.
I’m wondering more if it was Peter’s sense to justify being near Jesus in his hour of crisis.
‘I’ll just lie because this is Jesus’ darkest hour, I’m his close friend, and he needs me in this moment.’
I’m inclined to think this is more the case. Because what sin do we commit in which it doesn’t come with justification? None that I know of. We all justify our actions in our minds in such a way as we feel it’s ok to do wrong.
It’s just that in the long wrong it isn’t. Because we must pay the price for our justification. Even for Peter it would be a deep wound.