Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus 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.  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. (ESV)
Every time we read this story we focus so much on Peter denying Christ that we miss the other big deal that is mentioned here. Did anybody notice John? He’s the one telling the story, so he refers to himself in a funny way as ‘another disciple.’ Well, it just so happens that the other disciple ‘was known to the High Priest’ and was known to the servant girl. He was known, in fact, good enough to gain access to the inner courtyard of the High Priest’s father-in-law’s house!
Whatever you thought about the apostle John before, add this new information into it. The high priest was Caiaphas, but this first stop is at the home of Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas. For whatever reason (corruption? training? mentorship?) they go to this house first. Caiaphas must have spent a lot of time there because John knew Caiaphas, not Annas, and the servant girl knew John.
For whatever reason, John can go in and Peter can’t, but John puts in a good word with the doorlady and Peter can at least go into the courtyard. In the meantime, John is presumably IN THE HOUSE WITH JESUS AND THE HIGH PRIEST.
This makes Peter’s denial stand out even more. What was John doing in there? What did the others think he was doing in there? How incredible was it for John to stand by and let this stuff happen to Jesus? Was it easier since he knew this was exactly what Jesus predicted?
When we read the Bible, it’s moments like this that make you appreciate reading along with other people. Reading different translations and reading it slow make things show up that you might not have read before. The Holy Spirit is continually growing and shaping us, so new things could show up on the pages of scripture every time we go to it.