Are You Following at a Distance? Luke 22:54-62

Luke 22:54-62 “Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 But when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” 57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luca 22:54-62 “Dopo averlo arrestato, lo portarono via e lo condussero nella casa del sommo sacerdote; e Pietro seguiva da lontano. 55 Essi accesero un fuoco in mezzo al cortile, sedendovi intorno. Pietro si sedette in mezzo a loro. 56 Una serva, vedendolo seduto presso il fuoco, lo guardò fisso e disse: «Anche costui era con lui». 57 Ma egli negò, dicendo: «Donna, non lo conosco». 58 E poco dopo, un altro lo vide e disse: «Anche tu sei di quelli». Ma Pietro rispose: «No, uomo, non lo sono». 59 Trascorsa circa un’ora, un altro insisteva, dicendo: «Certo, anche questi era con lui, poiché è Galileo». 60 Ma Pietro disse: «Uomo, io non so quello che dici». E subito, mentre parlava ancora, un gallo cantò. 61 E il Signore, voltatosi, guardò Pietro; e Pietro si ricordò della parola che il Signore gli aveva detta: «Oggi, prima che il gallo canti, tu mi rinnegherai tre volte». 62 E, andato fuori, pianse amaramente.”

Jesus faced six trials: three by the Jews and three by the Romans. In this passage, Jesus was taken to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, between 3 and 6 am. Along the way, they first saw Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law (John 18:13). Peter said he would follow the Lord, but here he followed at a distance. When you claim to follow the Lord but stay at a distance, you might as well admit that you are not following Him at all and defeat is only a matter of time. Peter was ashamed to confess his connection with Jesus.
As part of the mob, Peter and John are able to gain access inside the temple courtyard. Sitting around the fire on a cool night, the servants and guards recognize Peter and with three confrontations, his years of studying with the Master were now completely forgotten.
Following at a distance is a recipe for a faltering walk with Jesus. Notice the instability in Peter. First, he says he doesn’t know Jesus. Then, not being convinced, another approaches him again and Peter says he is not one of them (disciples). Finally, answering the third accusation and knowing he has been caught, he still responds with, “I don’t know what you are talking about”!
Then comes the key to this tragic story. The cock crows and just one look from Jesus melts Peter into tears. The loving, compassionate and reproving look of Jesus was all it took to start the restoration work in Peter again. Jesus, without a word, reminds Peter of his sin but yet his hope. Look at Peter in the book of Acts. He has learned his lesson well and is restored to walking in the steps of Jesus and boldly facing his same accusers!
Pray with me: Lord, I sometimes walk close to you …and sometimes I don’t. Help me when I start to follow at a distance to clearly see Your loving, compassionate and reproving look that will draw me back to You.

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