And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the court of the high priest.
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He omits his own name out of humility: though he is relating an act of great virtue, how that he followed when the rest fled. He puts Peter before himself, and then mentions himself, in order to show that he was inside the hall, and therefore related what took place there with more certainty than the other Evangelists could. That disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. This he mentions not as a boast, but in order to diminish his own merit, in having been the only one who entered with Jesus. It is accounting for the act in another way, than merely by greatness of mind. Peter’s love took him as far as the palace, but his fear prevented him entering in: But Peter stood at the door without.
But that Peter would have entered the palace, if he had been permitted, appears by what immediately follows: Then went out that other disciple who was known to the high priest, and spoke to her who kept the doors, and brought in Peter. He did not bring him in himself, because he kept near Christ. It follows: Then says the damsel that kept the door to Peter, Are not you also one of this Man’s s disciples? He says, I am not. What say you, OPeter? Did you not say before, I will lay down my life for your sake? What then had happened, that you give way even when the damsel asks you? It was not a soldier who asked you, but a mean porteress. Nor said she, Are you this Deceiver’s disciple, but, this Man’s: anexpression of pity. Are not you also, she says, because John was inside.
Therefore did Divine Providence permit Peter first to fall, in order that he might be less severe to sinners from the remembrance of his own fall. Peter, the teacher and master of the whole world, sinned, and obtained pardon. that judges might thereafter have that rule to go by in dispensing pardon. For this reason I suppose the priesthood was not given to Angels; because, being without sin themselves, they would punish sinners without pity. Passible man is placed overman, in order that remembering his own weakness, he may be merciful to others.