After spending time alone with His disciples teaching them and then praying for them our Lord and the disciples leave the upper room in Jerusalem and head to the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives. While in the garden a crowd of Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers, (the whole world), come to arrest Yeshua.
He identified Himself to them, asked who it was they came to arrest, and they named Him alone. Yeshua then responded, "I am," and the whole crowd fell down. Think about this, this must have been scary and humiliating. Yeshua and His disciples are standing, and everyone else is on the ground. When the crowd gets up Peter drew his sword and severed the ear of the high priest's servant. Yeshua immediately brought the situation under control by rebuking Peter, and instructing him to holster his sword, and healing the man's ear. Yeshua was fully committed to "drink the cup that His Father had given Him" (John 18:11). Yeshua was determined to be "lifted up" on a cross, thus providing the way of salvation that He and the prophets had promised.
John doesn't tell us this, but when Yeshua was arrested His disciples fled:
Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled." And they all left him and fled. Mark 14:49-50 ESV
Yeshua is arrested, and His disciples all left Him and fled.
So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Yeshua and bound him. John 18:12 ESV
Here we see the religious leaders of Israel arresting Yeshua, binding Him and putting Him on trial. Imagine maggots setting up a court and summoning the president of the United States of America to make his appearance, and telling him that he must answer to them! Multiply that by infinity, and you have only begun to grasp what is happening here. Here, in our text for today, we have sinful maggots passing judgment on the immense, eternal Lord of the cosmos, the One without Whom was not anything made that was made. Mere mortals, sustained moment by moment by the living God, the one in whom they live and move and have their being, are putting Yahweh on trial, and they are passing judgment on Him. "What shall we do with Him? Shall He live or not?" Sinners are evaluating the thrice Holy Yahweh. They are searching for evidence with which to condemn the Ancient of Days.
Isn't that ridiculous? As ridiculous as this sounds, it still happens every day, you may even do it. We often sit in judgement on Yahweh. Something bad happens, and we ask, "How could God do a thing like that to me and my family?" Or, "How could God allow that to happen?" Believers as well as non-believers sit in judgment on the God who created them. The prophet Isaiah put it like this:
You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, "He did not make me"; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, "He has no understanding"? Isaiah 29:16 ESV
How crazy is it to sit in judgment on God our Creator. What our attitude should be is:
But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8 ESV
In our text for this morning we see sinful humanity sitting in judgment on their Creator. We see Israel putting Yeshua on trial. They are judging the Judge. Throughout the Scriptures it is made very plain that the Lord Yeshua is the Judge of this universe. We saw earlier in our study of this Gospel that all judgment has been committed into the hands of the Son of God by the Father:
For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, John 5:22 ESV
And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. John 5:27 ESV
Paul writing to Timothy said:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Yeshua, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 Timothy 4:1 ESV
So the Lord Yeshua has had all judgment committed into His hand. He is the ultimate Judge before whom all men will appear. And in our text the Judge of all is being judged by sinful humans. The irony of it is astonishing.
In our text for today Lazarus is really following two subjects here. He's following the trial of our Lord before Annas and Caiaphas, but he also is detailing and describing Peter's experience of denial. So in verses 12 through 14 we have Yeshua being tried by Annas and Caiaphas. Then in verses 15 through 18 we have a section that has to do with Peter's denial. Then in verses 19 through 24 we are back to the trial of Yeshua before Annas and Caiaphas. Then in verses 25 through 27 we're back to Peter's denial.
So Lazarus shifts the scene back and forth between the interrogation of Yeshua by Annas and the interrogation of Peter by those in the courtyard. He goes back-and-forth from the trial to the denial. It seems that his purpose is to contrast these two questionings.
To understand the account of Yeshua's trials, we need some historical background. There were actually two trials. Our Lord has an ecclesiastical trial, and then He has a civil trial. He was judged before the authorities of Israel, and then He was judged before the Roman authorities. Both trials had three phases and both were filled with illegalities.
Yeshua first appeared before Annas. It was a preliminary inquiry. Annas tried to get Yeshua to incriminate Himself. And then secondly, He appears in an illegal midnight trial before Caiaphas who was serving as high priest that year. Yeshua told Caiaphas that He was the Christ, the Son of God, resulting in the Jewish leaders declaring Him guilty of blasphemy (Matt. 26:63-66). And then finally, He appeared before a formal session of the Sanhedrin which formally condemned Him to death (Matt. 27:1-2).
But Roman law prevented the Sanhedrin from putting anyone to death. And so while they condemned Him as worthy of death, they could not actually put Him to death. The charge that they brought against Yeshua was a religious charge of blaspheme. The Romans would never have accepted blaspheme as reason for death. And so the charge that they accused Yeshua of to the Romans was treason. They told the Romans that Yeshua taught that there is anther king besides Caesar.
So He is charged before Pilate with treason. So Pilate tries Him and finds that there's no cause for putting Yeshua to death, and so when he hears that Herod happens to be in the vicinity, he sends him to Herod, hoping that Herod will settle the matter. But when Herod questioned Yeshua He wouldn't say anything. So he sends Him back to Pilate. Although Pilate found Yeshua to be innocent he caved to the pressure of the Jews and handed Yeshua over to be crucified. Both trials were a mockery of justice.
Lazarus does not, as is his custom, repeat the events of Yeshua's trial before the Sanhedrin because it is covered in all the Synoptic accounts (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:66-71).
With that as an introduction, let's look at our text:
So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Yeshua and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. John 18:12-13 ESV
"So the band of soldiers and their captain"—the "captain" here is from the Greek word chiliarchos, which literally describes the "commander of a thousand." He was the officer in charge of the Roman cohort soldiers. He was evidently the person with the most official authority on the scene.
"The officers of the Jews"—the Jewish "officers", which were the Temple Police, also played a part in Yeshua's arrest. Again we have Gentiles and Jews arresting Yeshua, which speaks of the whole world.
So they arrest Yeshua and at this point, Matthew and Mark tell us that the disciples flee. They disappear, fulfilling the prophecy of the Tanakh, that when the Shepherd is smitten, the sheep will scatter.
"Arrested Yeshua and bound him"—this is a detail omitted by the Synoptics. John's mention of the binding of Yeshua is perhaps to allude to Abraham's binding of Isaac.
When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Genesis 22:9 ESV
Isaac was a type of Christ. Psalm 118 states:
The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! Psalms 118:27 ESV
Just as the Jews would bring their sacrifices to the priest, so Yeshua was led to the high priest, who inadvertently would bind and kill Him on behalf of the nation.
Let's think about this scene. Yeshua had just told them that He is Yahweh and with a flash of His glory knocked to the ground hundreds of fully armed soldiers and Temple Police! They then get up and bind Yeshua. That makes no sense, but it shows just how blind these men were.
First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. John 18:13 ESV
From the Garden in Gethsemane to the house of the high priest would have been about two miles. If I was one of those solders I would have been a little nervous as to what Yeshua might do next.
The Fourth Gospel is unique in recording our Lord's "hearing" before Annas, former high priest, and the real power behind Caiaphas. The high priest was the ecclesiastical head of the nation. He was the administrative head of the nation. He was the political head of the nation, and he was the judicial head of the state. So the high priest was a very important man. Ordinarily the priests came from the tribe of Aaron, the tribe of Levi, and the high priest came from the family of Aaron. But in the time of the Romans, the Romans appointed the high priest.
Lazarus' mention of the "high priest that year" gives us a clue about the state of the high priesthood. According to the Law of the Torah, a high priest was supposed to hold his office for life, but Gratus, like other foreign commanders, feared that a high priest who ruled too long had too much influence with the people. So they selected the high priest who served for a year at a time.
I believe that Lazarus dwells on Annas because he is the real power, the driving force, behind the condemnation of Yeshua. Annas was not the high priest at this time; Caiaphas was. Annas had been the high priest from A.D. 6 to A.D. 15. He was then deposed by the Roman prefect Valerius Gratius, according to Josephus.
However, deposing Annas didn't do much to curb his influence. Many Jews still considered him as the rightful leader of the Covenant people, and he remained in control through five of his sons, a grandson, and his son-in-law Caiaphas who all held the office of high priest in subsequent years. Many biblical historians think that Annas was the real leader of the priestly Sadducee party and the prime motivator in the plot to kill Yeshua. In including the information that Yeshua was first taken to Annas, John seems to be making the same suggestion. Taking Yeshua to Annas first also allowed enough time for Caiaphas to assemble the members of the Sanhedrin and the false witnesses who would testify against Yeshua.
The Talmud has an interesting passage on Annas that gives you sort of the view of the people. It says this: "Woe to the house of Annas. Woe to their serpent's hiss. They are high priests. Their sons are keepers of the treasury, their sons-in-law are guardians of the Temple, and their servants beat the people with staves."
As a Sadducee, he was the equivalent of modern religious liberals, denying what Scripture plainly teaches. The Sadducees did not believe in angels or spirits or in the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:8). So the office was more political than spiritual.
At the time of Christ the Court of the Gentiles became host to what was called, "The Bazaars of Annas." Annas granted permission to family members to begin what looked like a flea market in the area reserved for Gentiles to seek the Lord and worship Him. Noisy animals, bargain hunters, and crass merchants crowded the area that should have provided dignity and quiet contemplation for worshipers. Kickbacks and fees for the priestly family kept the bazaar in full swing, to the total neglect of why the Temple existed at all.
Annas controlled the lucrative business that went on in the Temple. When pilgrims came to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts, they had to offer sacrifices which were approved by the high priest's officers. If you brought your own animal, and it was rejected, you would have to buy officially approved animals at a marked up cost. So rather than go through all that hassle, it was just easier to buy your sacrificial animal there.
Also, if you came with Roman or other foreign currency, you had to have it changed into Temple currency, at an exchange rate that made a nice profit for the money-changers, who paid a percentage to the high priest. Since there were usually hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in Jerusalem for the feasts, the high priests were getting fabulously wealthy through the Temple business.
So when this prophet from Galilee upset the vendors' tables in the Temple and drove them out, it didn't sit well with Annas and his conniving son-in-law, Caiaphas! They both hated Yeshua and wanted to find a way to kill Him because He threatened their power and financial interests. No doubt Annas used his position to arrange that Yeshua should be brought to him first, so that he might gloat over the downfall of the presumptuous Galilean.
"That year"—is a reference to that fateful year that Caiaphas, in his role as the high priest, unknowingly chose Yeshua, the Lamb of God, as the sin sacrifice for the covenant people.
It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. John 18:14 ESV
This is a parenthetical reminder of John 11:50:
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish." John 11:49-50 ESV
It seems like Lazarus is telling us that Caiaphas had already determined that Yeshua must die. This is not going to be a just trial. But Lazarus may also be reminding his readers that the arrest and death of Yeshua will provide salvation for the people.
As I said earlier, John alternated his account of the events surrounding Yeshua's religious trial with that of Peter's denial. This literary technique contrasts Yeshua with Peter.
Simon Peter followed Yeshua, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Yeshua into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. John 18:15-16 ESV
Remember what we saw earlier in Mark verse 50, "And they all left Him and fled." The "ALL" would have included Peter, but now, after running away to save his own skin, he comes back to follow at a distance.
Do you see anything in these verses that raises questions? Is there any problem with Peter going into the courtyard of the high priest? No layman was allowed to enter into the Great Beth Din, especially during feast days when there was a danger of defilement. Any priest could come and go as he so chose, but no laymen could enter.
So how does Peter get in?
but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. John 18:16 ESV
This "other disciple" was "known to the high priest," and he was the one who got Peter in. If you read John 20, you will see that the "other disciple" is "the disciple whom Yeshua loved."
So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Yeshua loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." John 20:2 ESV
As we have seen in our study of this Gospel, this disciple was not the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee, but was Lazarus whom Yeshua rose from the dead.
Barrett points out, "The term gnostos is used in the LXX to refer to a close friend (Ps 54:14 LXX [55:14 English text]). This raises a difficulty in identifying the "other disciple" as John, son of Zebedee, since how could the uneducated son of an obscure Galilean fisherman be known to such a powerful and influential family in Jerusalem?"
So how did Lazarus get in to the court of the high priest? Lazarus is the Greek rendering of the name Eleazar. Eleazar is a name found only in priestly lineages. I believe that Lazarus was a priest. As a "priest," he would be able to enter into the Beth Din, while Peter, who was a laymen, was required to remain "outside."
Let me give you several reasons why I believe that Lazarus was a Jewish priest. These are also reasons why the Apostle John, a Galilean, could not have written John.
1. He knows the name of the high priest's servant-Malchus (John 18:10). All the Gospels record Peter cutting off the high priest's servant's ear, but only Lazarus records his name.
2. Only the Fourth Gospel records the name of the high priest, Annas. He knew the high priest by name.
3. He was familiar with the family relationships of the high priest. Only in the Fourth Gospel do we learn that Annas was father-in-law to Caiaphas.
4. Lazarus is known to the palace household. Peter has to wait outside, but Lazarus is let right in. He could have only entered if he were also a priest.
5. He was acquainted with the relationships of palace staff (John 18:26). Only the Fourth Gospel tells us that one of those who questioned Peter's association with Yeshua was a relative of Malchus.
6. He was aware of the motives of the priests. Only the writer of the Fourth Gospel explains why the priests would not enter Pilate's Judgement Hall:
Then they led Yeshua from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. John 18:28 ESV
It is my opinion, based upon these facts, that Lazarus was a priest, and that is why he could enter the court of the high Priest, and that is why he could get Peter in.
So how did Lazarus get Peter in if no laymen were allowed? There was an exception to a layman not being able to enter the court of the high priest—that exception was made in the case of a witness. There were certain requirements that witnesses had to meet in order to attain entrance into the court area. It must have been first determined whether or not he might be qualified to give testimony. An entire section of the Mishnah is devoted to the qualifications of witnesses. So Lazarus "spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in." I think he told the doorkeeper that Peter was a witness. Notice what Yeshua says:
Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." John 18:21 ESV
During His trial, Yeshua says, "Question those who have heard what I spoke to them."
Yeshua could have been referring to two eyewitnesses who had been with Him when He made the statement regarding the "Temple," and who would have been able to describe and explain the events of that day in detail. Peter and John Eleazar would have been two witnesses who could have given the most reliable testimony of all.
So I think that the only reason that Peter got into the court of the high priest was because he was attempting to help his Rabbi, the Lord Yeshua:
The servant girl at the door said to Peter, "You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. John 18:17-18 ESV
Before we're too hard on Peter, let's remember that Peter didn't have to be here in the high priest's house on this evening. Yeshua had told him that He would meet them in Galilee. Peter could have just taken off and hid until after the resurrection, but he didn't; he risked his life seeking to help his Rabbi.
Servants guarded the gates in outer walls of well to do homes; the wealthiest, such as eminent members of the high priestly family, would have servants whose regular duties included watching the gate.
Now we go back to Yeshua's trial:
The high priest then questioned Yeshua about his disciples and his teaching. Yeshua answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Yeshua with his hand, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Yeshua answered him, "If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?" Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. John 18:19-24 ESV
"The high priest then"—the "then" is significant. It informs us that the interrogation of Peter (by the slave girl) and the interrogation of our Lord are taking place simultaneously. So John alternates between one interrogation and the other in order to place our Lord's responses in juxtaposition to those of Peter. Peter fails, while our Lord stands fast.
"The high priest then questioned Yeshua about his disciples and his teaching"th—is suggests that the night-time arrest was to avoid the risk of what they thought could be a popular revolt. They'd seen the crowds that had gathered to welcome Yeshua into Jerusalem just five days previously and were now terrified that Yeshua could lead a mass rebellion which would take away their positions of wealth and prestige. So it's no wonder they questioned him about his disciples—how many of them there were, how they were organized, and at what would they rise up in rebellion.
Yeshua answered him, "I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. John 18:20 ESV
Yeshua ignores the question about His disciples, but He tells His interrogator that He has spoken openly in both the Synagogue and the Temple. Yeshua's response to Annas recalls the words that were prophesized of Messiah in Isaiah 48:16:
Draw near to me, hear this: from the beginning I have not spoken in secret, from the time it came to be I have been there." And now the Lord GOD has sent me, and his Spirit. Isaiah 48:16 ESV
Then Yeshua says,
Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said." John 18:21 ESV
This is specifically addressed to Annas, and is essentially requests for a formal trial. Annas was seeking to compel Yeshua to testify against Himself. Under Jewish law, a defendant was not required to testify against himself. Rather, other witnesses were called to testify. Maimonides, a great Jewish medieval scholar laid it out this way: "Our true law does not inflict the penalty of death upon a sinner by his own confession." So Yeshua's reply (John 18:20-21) was a rebuke, exposing Annas' illegal approach. "Why do you question me?" Then really means: "I do not have to answer these questions because you are not following correct legal procedure."
Barclay says: "One curious feature of legal procedure in the Sanhedrin was that the man involved was held to be absolutely innocent, and, indeed, not even on trial, until the evidence of the witnesses had been stated and confirmed. The argument about the case could only begin when the testimony of the witnesses was given and confirmed. That is the point of the conversation between Jesus and Annas in John 18:19-21. Jesus, in that incident, was reminding Annas that he had no right to ask Him anything until the evidence of witnesses had been taken and found to agree" (op. cit., p. 58). (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John, p. 755, fn. 40)
At that point one of the Temple Police slapped Yeshua. The officer's question appealed to Exodus 22:28:
"You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. Exodus 22:28 ESV
Yeshua responded neither in anger nor fear. He asked for evidence that His reply to Annas had been negative. He was aware that Exodus 22:28 did not apply to what He had done.
The Greek word rhapisma, translated "struck," means: "a sharp blow with the palm of the hand." Yeshua's response to this attack was logical rather than emotional or physical. He simply appealed for a fair trial. The man who struck Him was not treating Him fairly. This was a case of police brutality. Think about who this officer is striking.
After Annas interrogates Yeshua he sends Him off to Caiaphas:
Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. John 18:24 ESV
The transfer of Yeshua from Annas to Caiaphas is significant in the Fourth Gospel simply because Peter is seen to be warming himself both before and after Annas' meeting and doesn't appear to change his location when the trial begins before Caiaphas. It shows the reader that the likelihood is that the two residencies couldn't have been very far apart, and, if it's presumed that the structure of the houses was similar to a lot of places during the first century, the buildings would have surrounded an open courtyard where Peter stood. So Yeshua is moved simply from Annas' quarters to those of Caiaphas—from one side of the square to the other.
So Yeshua is questioned by Annas, then Caiaphas, and then finally He was brought before the "full" Sanhedrin. This is all that John will record of Yeshua's trial. He does not repeat the Synoptic accounts of Yeshua's shameful trial before the illegally convened Sanhedrin, the Jewish Law Court.
I would guess that John here also has in mind presenting Yeshua as a model of how the believers of His (and our) time should respond when under trial and/or attack. The actions of Yeshua here are an excellent commentary on His teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. There Yeshua taught that one should never lash back or seek to retaliate for personal insults.
Outside, Peter was watching this, and he never forgot it. In his first letter, he tells us that we are to remember that scene, because Christ was our example:
When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23 ESV
This is how Christians are to respond when they are falsely accused, when they are unjustly vilified and abused. We are to be image bearers. When the world looks at us they should see Christ.
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, "You also are not one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed. John 18:25-27 ESV
Here "now" could be translated "meanwhile," John is now returning to the events taking place outside in the courtyard while Yeshua was being interrogated inside the palace by Annas.
A disciple's denial would shame the teacher. Because many ancient hearers would feel that such behavior reflected badly not only on this important disciple, but also on Yeshua who chose him, nearly all scholars agree that ancient Christians would never have invented such a story.
Mark's Gospel includes a very significant addition to the other accounts. Here, Yeshua predicts that the rooster will crow twice before Peter denies Him thrice (14:30). Mark then informs us that the rooster did crow a first (14:68), and a second (14:72) time. This means that before Peter denied his Lord the last time, he was actually warned, but he totally ignored the warning.
And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61-62 ESV
That look had to pierce Peter's heart! I'm sure that he never forgot it. He went out and wept bitterly. The Greek word used for the charcoal fire (John 18:18) is only used one other time in the New Testament, in John 21:9, where the risen Yeshua had kindled a charcoal fire to cook breakfast for the disciples. At the first fire, Peter denied his Lord. At the second fire, the Lord restored Peter to fellowship and service.
Brown writes, "John has constructed a dramatic contrast wherein Jesus stands up to his questioners and denies nothing, while Peter cowers before his questioners and denies everything." (R. E. Brown, The Gospel According to John: Introduction, Translation and Notes, 2:842.)
How do we see Yeshua's sovereign control in Peter's denial? Yeshua had told His disciples that He is going away, and that they cannot follow Him there. Peter asks Yeshua why he cannot follow, assuring Yeshua that he is willing to lay down his life for Him. Yeshua then says:
Yeshua answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times. John 13:38 ESV
Yeshua is in control of all that is happening, He is in control of His arrest trial and death.
Before we're too quick to judge Peter, I think we should realize that whether by un-Christlike words or behavior, we've all joined Peter in saying, "I am not a disciple of Yeshua the Christ." We've all denied Christ at times in our life.
I think that a couple of things led to Peter's fall. Peter fell because he didn't understand the plan of God. He envisioned the Messiah as One who would conquer Rome and rule over Israel on the throne of David (Psalm 2).
When you think that God has to work in a certain way, but He doesn't conform to your expectations, you are spiritually vulnerable. It's easy in your disappointment, confusion, and hurt to succumb to temptation! When we dictate our plan to God rather than submit to His plan, we're setting ourselves up for spiritual failure.
I think that Peter fell because he was trusting in his own strength instead of the Lord.
Peter answered him, "Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away." Matthew 26:33 ESV
Peter thought that he was better than the other disciples.
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12 ESV
It is the areas where we think we are strong that we need to guard. Peter thought way more of himself that he should have. So often, so do we.