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Luke 22:54-62 - Peter denies Jesus three times

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, "This man also was with him." But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know him." A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, "You also are one of them." But Peter said, "Man, I am not!" Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, "Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean." But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about!" At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.


Verse fifty-four begins with the capitalized word “Syllabontes,” which is a divinely elevated statement about Jesus having been “Taken, Seized, Collected or Apprehended.” This elevation says the arrest of Jesus was both divinely necessary, while also being totally unjust. The whole of this verse literally translates to state: “Having seized now himself , themselves led , kai brought towards this house of this of high priest . this now Peter was following from afar .” After making it known that Jesus was unjustly taken into captivity, the segment that follows says, “they led,” which can equally say, “they carried, brought, guided,” as well as “led away.” This created an image of guards “leading the way,” while Jesus followed. The reality would be them pushing and shoving Jesus to go as they directed him; but to show “themselves led says the arresting party was “led” to make the arrest. The one doing this “leading” was then the “high priest,” who was Joseph Caiaphas. That “house” is believed to have been relatively close to where the upper room was. Because the disciples had left family members in the upper room, it would have been natural for the arresting party to walk the same path as would the disciples. Peter would have stayed back some distance (himself afraid of arrest, especially after having struck a slave of the high priest), but followed because he felt it was his responsibility, after Jesus was no longer leading the group of disciples.

Verse fifty-five also starts with a capitalized word, this time being “Periapsantōn,” which is the Genitive Aorist Participle plural of “haptó,” meaning “to fasten to, lay hold of,” implying in usage: “to kindle, to light.” Having just followed a statement about the “house of the high priest,” the plural indicates those who manage the property of the “house.” The need for a “fire” says servants of the high priest had gathered wood to burn, both because it was night and light was needed, plus it was cold in the predawn, meaning warmth was necessary. The divine elevation of this word then says “They gathered” at a time when “they” normally would be safely inside and asleep. This then becomes symbolic of those who “Gathered” at the house of the high priest were the beginnings of a spiritual fire that would burn, to warm those who feared in their souls a great wrong beginning, while starting the first “fire” that would bring a great light into the world.

The whole of verse fifty-five then says literally: “Laid hold of now a fire within midst of this of courtyard , kai having sat down together , was seated this Peter in the midst of themselves .” Expanding outward, this says the “a fire within midst of this courtyard” is a reflection of a movement having begun. The importance says the evil deed of arresting an innocent man of God has sunk in – “Taken hold of.” The use of “aulēs,” meaning “of courtyard,” implies a large open area within a compound surrounding a palace, which was the first “court” in which Jesus would appear. Those who were slaves or servants to the high priest knew a major event was underway, where they would have been told of how dangerous Jesus was, in order to secure their loyalty to avoid an insurrection by his followers. Thus, the importance of “having sat down together,” this is symbolic of everyone within the court’s yard being in agreement that they were helping save Judaism. When the last segment then says, “was seated this Peter in the midst of themselves,” Peter was less a spy trying to help Jesus and more in line with the souls (“themselves”) of those who thought (an idea “seated”) something had to be done at that time.

Verse fifty-six then literally says, “having seen now himself a maidservant a certain one sitting towards this light , kai having directed her gaze to himself , she said , Kai this together with to himself he existed .” Here, there are three segments of words, with the second introduced as important to grasp (use of “kai”), while the third (where the girl spoke) is most important to take hold of (use of a capitalized “Kai”). The first segment’s important word is “towards this light,” where that is metaphor for divine illumination in the darkness of the unknowing. When the “maidservant” is identified as “a certain one” (from “tis”), she was known by name; but ancient writings frowned upon naming unimportant women and children. The use of “a certain one” makes her be like the “slave of the high priest,” who was also known by name, but unnamed because he was unimportant. Both were “certain” because they had followed Jesus while he was in Jerusalem and made themselves known to his followers, perhaps by making small donations or monetary contributions. So, “this light” is like the proverbial ‘lightbulb going off’ over one’s head. The importance then says “this light” led the “maidservant” to “direct her gaze” at Peter, realizing she had seen him before; but he was not a servant to the high priest’s courthouse. She was directed by Yahweh’s angels to stare at Peter and make that realization. Then, most importantly, she was moved by the Spirit to speak, such that it was not her words coming out, but those of Yahweh. She was moved divinely to say, “the soul of Peter (this himself) with Jesus (himself arrested) existed,” where the past tense places focus on Peter was no longer a follower of Jesus, as he “sat in the midst of them” who were under the control of the high priest.

Verse fifty-seven then has Peter respond to this identification, with the first word being a capitalized “Ho,” which returns importance to that led by the Spirit to be spoken by the girl, as Peter retorting to “This” said. The whole of this verse is then literally shown to state: “This now he denied , himsaying , Not I do behold himself , woman .” Here, what Peter said is also begun with a capitalized “Ouk,” which is a divinely elevated word that says Peter was “Not” one who had anything to do with Jesus any longer. When the word “oida” is seen as the first-person singular word meaning “to be aware, behold, consider, perceive,” while implying, “I know, remember, appreciate,” Peter denied having any link to the soul of Jesus. He denied “appreciating” his inner presence and having gained “spiritual awareness and perception” as a lead disciple of Jesus – one of his twelve. Peter said his “soul” was in no way linked to the “soul” of Jesus (“himself”). When he made that denial, while addressing a female – a young girl – Peter reduced his own soul to the feminine state of all souls in human flesh, who were unmarried to Yahweh (not a bridesmaid, but Peter became an unnamed nobody).

The next two verses are both begun with capitalized uses of “Kai,” which mirror the great importance of what the maidservant had said. Verse fifty-eight then literally says, “Kai after short time , another one having looked upon himself , he was declaring , Kai yourself from out of of themselves exist . This now Peter declared , Man , not I exist .” Here, the great importance comes from only a ”short time” passing, after a “maidservant” had identified Peter as a follower of Jesus did “another one look upon” Peter intently. That other one then “declared” as a supporting witness to the girl’s testimony. Most importantly this one said the soul of Peter (“yourself”) was aligned with those souls (“themselves”) who followed Jesus. They all “existed” as extensions of their spiritual leader. Again, with a capitalized “This” pointing back to what the other one had declared, Peter equally declared, Man , not I exist .” That capitalization of “Anthrōpe” becomes a divinely elevated statement that Peter was only “Man-Human” … a soul possessing a body of flesh, who worshiped self and no one else. While his use of “not” said he denied the identification of the “other one,” like he denied the girl’s, it said Peter’s only lord was “I,” “not Jesus.” In saying that, Peter admitted he was nothing (“not I exist”), as far as eternal salvation was concerned.

Verse fifty-nine the follows with another capitalized “Kai” beginning it, showing this exchange to equally be most important to grasp. The whole of this verse then literally says, “Kai having elapsed as it were an hour one , another certain one he emphatically asserted , him saying , On the basis of of truth , kai this among of himself existed ; indeed a Galilean he exists . The importance to grasp here is the timing stated, where reading “after about one hour” can be stating it was almost two in the morning, with “an hour” past “one” would still be prior to three, when the ‘dawn watch’ begins, which is also known as the ‘cock’s crow watch’ of night. The importance says Peter’s two denials held off a third identification for more than a “short time,” with the “time elapsed” being “an hour. At that time “another certain one” spoke, which identifies him as also being one who flocked to hear Jesus speak on the Temple steps; and, he had come in close contact with the disciples of Jesus, so he was able to recognize Peter’s face (if not know his name). Because faces are difficult to pick out of police line-ups and easy to mistake two who look similar, the time of “an hour” meant this third man analyzed Peter, wondering why he would lie about being a close follower of the man they had arrested and stayed awake, in case some would attempt to storm the compound. After “an hour,” this man realized Peter was dressed like “a Galilean,” so that was the “truth” that confirmed his identity. All of Jesus’ followers were easily recognized by the way they dressed (poorly, not richly), so the capitalized use of “Ep’” becomes a divinely elevated intuition that spoke loudly as “a truth.” The importance of that “truth” spoke as confirmation that Peter (“this among”) was a soul aligned with Jesus (“himself existed”).On top of that, the proof was for all eyes to see in the firelight, saying, “Look, he is dressed like a Galilean, like they all were.”

Verse sixty then has Peter make his third denial. It begins with a capitalized “Eipen,” which divinely elevates the words that Peter “Said.” The whole of this verse can be found literally saying, “Said now this Peter , Man , not I consider this you say . kai immediately of himself speaking of himself , crowed the rooster .” In all the namings of “Peter,” the divine elevation of his name is it was given to him by Jesus, meaning “Rock” or “Stone.” This means every time “Peter” spoke, he spoke as one named by Jesus to be his “Rock.” Now, for a third time that “Rock” was crumbling before close examination, where nothing more than the truth was said three times. Again, the capitalization of “Man-Human” says Simon identified himself, not the soul named by Jesus as a “Rock.” He again denied (“not”), while saying in the first-person “I consider this you say.” The “I” was Simon speaking, who was just a “Man,” not a saved soul. Then, “immediately,” while he was still “speaking of himself” as Simon, he heard the sound of a cock crowing.

This then leads to verse sixty-one, which begins with a marker of importance to follow, where is literally written: “kai having changed direction , this Lord considered this Peter , kai he was reminded this Peter of this of speech of this of Lord , when he had said to himself that , Before cock calls today , yourself will disown myself three times .” The importance of “having changed direction” is that Peter no longer was facing some other person who was rightfully naming peter as a follower of Jesus, but his attention “turned” inwardly. His mind then realized “this” was prophesied by the “Lord,” earlier in the Seder dinner. Importantly, Peter was “reminded “of the speech” Jesus made to “himself” (knowing his “soul”). The capitalization of “Prin,” which means “formerly, before,” the divine elevation says Jesus knew the soul of Simon would return. Just as Simon always tried to be the “rooster” in the ‘henhouse’ of Jesus’ ministerial servants, always crowing about how he was the greatest (and he rose to cut the ear off a child servant), that self-identity “Before,” of the “Former” Simon, would become a “cock crowing three times.” Simon was who “disowned” Jesus; but Jesus had renamed Simon “Peter.”

The last verse of this section is then also important, beginning with the word “kai.” The whole of this verse says literally: “kai having come out without , he wept bitterly .” Here, the NRSV translates this as, “And he went out.” This makes it appear that Peter, in the middle of denying he was a follower of Jesus suddenly excused himself and walked away. They were all seated “outside,” where a fire could be raging without burning any buildings down. The importance that has to be grasped here is Peter had “turned within” himself in thought. Now, “having come out” he was standing in the darkness of night, in front of a fire, among those who had helped arrest and contain Jesus; and, it was then that Peter realized he was “without” his Lord, who was truly the Son of Yahweh in the flesh of a man. Standing in front of all those who had identified Peter as a follower of Jesus, he publicly burst out in a great wail of lament and sorrow, crying volumes of tears before those he had disowned Jesus “Before.”

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