Following at a Distance-Mark 14:53-54

Mark 14:53-54 “They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.”
Marco 14:53-54 « Condussero Gesù davanti al sommo sacerdote; e si riunirono tutti i capi dei sacerdoti, gli anziani e gli scribi. 54 Pietro, che lo aveva seguito da lontano fin dentro il cortile del sommo sacerdote, stava lì seduto con le guardie e si scaldava al fuoco.”
 
     The soldiers brought Jesus to the house of the Caiaphas, the high priest, around 3 AM in order to get a quick informal ratification charging Jesus with being a traitor. They would then get it officially ratified at first light. After this was done, it would be presented to the Roman legal system which only worked cases during the day. 
     Peter followed these events at a distance. Most of the other disciples had already fled but we see Peter now sitting by a campfire contemplating what would happen. He had seen Jesus heal and deliver many people, escape the crowds that were trying to kill him and declared publicly that Jesus was the Christ (the Messiah). Now he was thinking that once again Jesus would do the impossible and escape the armies as well as the Jewish and Roman authorities. As Peter was waiting, somewhat cautious but also hoping for something extraordinary to happen where he could say “I know Jesus, the Nazarene.” Being in the courtyard of the high priest, he along with the palace guards could see and hear everything that was happening; soon Peter realizes that Jesus would not demonstrate a miraculous deliverance like before and his hope now turns to fear. The following verses in Mark (vv. 55-63) give us a visual image of what Peter was hearing from the chief priests and Sanhedrin. The fire may have kept him warm and illuminated his face but it was plain he now grasps that this was the end of the road.
     There are believers who follow Jesus when things go well but quickly lose their God-consciousness when things go awry. Things don’t go the way you expect and your hope in God begins to fade. Although Peter had been warned about what was to happen, he still could not understand why. Doubts and fears controlled his every action and would soon be exposed. Remember that following Jesus at a distance never gives us a clear understanding of our faith in the good and difficult times.
Pray with me: Lord, I confess that like Peter during these days, I have at times followed You from a distance to watch what would happen. Help me to be a disciple that chooses to be a close follower no matter what the cost.


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