Not too far away, Peter followed Jesus. He went right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards. He warmed himself at the fire.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for something to use against Jesus. They wanted to put him to death. But they did not find any proof.
Many witnesses lied about him. But their stories did not agree.
Then some stood up. They gave false witness about him.
"We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple made by human hands. In three days I will build another temple, not made by human hands.' "
But what they said did not agree.
Then the high priest stood up in front of them. He asked Jesus, "Aren't you going to answer? What are these charges these men are bringing against you?"
But Jesus remained silent. He gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ? Are you the Son of the Blessed One?"
"I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One. You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven."
The high priest tore his clothes. "Why do we need any more witnesses?" he asked.
"You have heard him say a very evil thing against God. What do you think?" They all found him guilty and said he must die.
Then some began to spit at him. They blindfolded him. They hit him with their fists. They said, "Prophesy!" And the guards took him and beat him.
Peter was below in the courtyard. One of the high priest's female servants came by.
When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. "You also were with Jesus, that Nazarene," she said.
But Peter said he had not been with him. "I don't know or understand what you're talking about," he said. He went out to the entrance to the courtyard.
The servant saw him there. She said again to those standing around, "This fellow is one of them."
Again he said he was not. After a little while, those standing nearby said to Peter, "You must be one of them. You are from Galilee."
He began to call down curses on himself. He took an oath and said to them, "I don't know this man you're talking about!"
Right away the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had spoken to him. "The rooster will crow twice," he had said. "Before it does, you will say three times that you don't know me." Peter broke down and sobbed.