Why did Peter follow Jesus in Matthew 26:28?
Is your understanding that the "reason" that he followed Jesus was only because he wanted to see what was going to happen? Not to stand up for Jesus?
Perhaps I should have explained that I am working on a lesson for Sunday morning and the point that I want to make is that we should not make the mistake that Peter made by being too overconfident.
I don't know that we are given any insight into Peter's mind that it can be said that he followed Jesus only because he wanted to see what was going to happen and that he did not intend to stand up for Jesus because:
- Earlier Peter was ready to defend Jesus with two swords.
- Peter declared that he would never leave or forsake Jesus.
- Later he denied Jesus 3 times.
It seems to me that, at the time, Peter was ready to stand with Jesus. But as the night went on and the situation became more tense, Peter's fear took over. (Remember his walking and water and then began to sink.) This is what I think happened. He was ready to stand with Jesus; fear took over; Peter was hunting a way to escape with his life.
He claimed that he would "never leave of forsake Jesus", but he did! We might "want" to make the same claim but at the same time, we must realize that like Peter, because of our weakness of the flesh, fear, weak faith, etc. can result in us being unable to do what we might really want to.
To guess about the details of Peter (or any man's motivations) is difficult. Peter's behavior that morning was like a person who wanted to know what was happening to his best friend, and yet fearful in regards to his own life. He doesn't act like a man who was going to stand up for his friend. The fear started with Jesus' arrest, "Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled" (Matthew 26:56). Peter always struck me as a man who was bold until he had a chance to think about what he was doing. His boldness stemmed from his rashness. It was after Jesus' resurrection that Peter drastically changed and became truly bold.
It might be possible that he had an unreasonable hope that something might happen which would allow him to rescue Jesus, but that seems unlikely.
See: Trial Before Annas for my notes on what happened at Annas' house.