Freedom from the Shackles of Self-Preservation – John 18:12-27
12 So the Roman cohort, the commander, and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him, 13 and brought Him to Annas first; for he was the 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 in their best interest for one man to die in 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 he entered with Jesus into the courtyard 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. 17 Then the slave woman who was the doorkeeper *said to Peter, “You are not also one of this Man’s disciples, are you?” He *said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself.
19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple area, where all the Jews congregate; and I said nothing in secret. 21 Why are you asking Me? Ask those who have heard what I spoke to them. Look: these people know what I said.” 22 But when He said this, one of the officers, who was standing nearby, struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” 24 So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
25 Now Simon Peter was still standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not one of His disciples as well, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, who was related to the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.
We live in a world that is regulated by power and influence. If we have it, there is a temptation to keep it all costs. And if we don’t have it, there is a temptation to gain it at all costs—or at least protect ourselves from becoming its victim. In this passage, we find two clear examples of this self-preservation. But we also find the solution to these ever-present temptations provided by Jesus.