Daily Word

Legal or lynching? | Matthew 26:57-58

57 Those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together. 58 But Peter was following Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and he came inside and sat down with the [ w ]officers to see the outcome.

Matthew 26:57-58 (NASB) 中文

Jesus arrested

So Jesus has been arrested by the crowd and the disciples have fled out of fear. Amazingly, even this detail had been prophesied (Zechariah 11:12-13)! But Peter circles back and, according to John’s account, hooked up with John to get in to see the trial to see what would happen to Jesus. He must have forgotten Jesus predicted he would betray Him.

Long night

It was already past midnight when the crowds got back into the city and brought Jesus to the high priest. They were staying up, waiting, knowing they would soon have Jesus in their clutches. Some were probably so excited to finally get rid of this trouble-maker.

Legal or lynching?

But according to the Amplified Version notes, “It was unlawful for a criminal court proceeding to be held at night. Further, although the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) was granted substantial power to act by the Roman government, the Sanhedrin could not impose the death penalty on a criminal. Court cases requesting a death penalty to be imposed by the Roman government were to be held publicly in the temple. The officials of the Sanhedrin waited until morning to announce their verdict, perhaps in a token attempt to legalize their unlawful gathering.” (AMP notes)

Peter and John

It seems strange that Peter would sit with the guards – presumably the same ones who just came to arrest Jesus. Wouldn’t they recognize Him? How could a fisherman even get into the courtyard of the high priest? We know from John 18:15-16 that John the disciple was able to get into the courtyard since he was known to the high priest. He then got Peter in. But why wasn’t he kicked out based on his identity? I can only guess that what Jesus requested of the crowd in John 18:8 to let the disciples go free was honored. 

Another trial

It should also be noted that John records a trial before this one. “Before Jesus came to the home of Caiaphas (the official high priest), He was led to the home of Annas, who was the ex-high priest and the “power behind the throne” of the high priest (according to John 18:12-14 and John 18:19-23).” (enduringword.com)


  • Some people will go to any extent to get what they want – even against God’s known (even prophesied) will. These Jewish religious leaders are an extreme example. Is there anything you are pushing for on your own – to the exclusion of what God wants, even clearly outlined in His Word?
Lynching. Image from en.wikipedia.org *

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