‘The awful scene inside the palace is matched by this one outside, where Peter has been sitting with the guards warming himself by the fire. Now he faces a crisis. One of the servant girls of the high priest has recognized him as a companion of Jesus. She tells Peter, ‘You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus. ‘Then she tells the guards, ‘This fellow is one of them.‘
Finally, the guards recognize Peter’s northern accent and say to him, ‘Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.’
Three times Peter is accused and three times he denies knowing Jesus. In Gethsemene, he had fallen asleep three times instead of praying. Now, that threefold sleeping is matched by this threefold denial, though he had said he would stand by Jesus, regardless what others might do (14:31). The spirit was willing, but the flesh has indeed proved weak (14:38).
Though Jesus would prophesy nothing to his tormentors (14:65), he had prophesied this to the Twelve (14:30).
No sooner had Peter denied knowing Jesus than the rooster crowed the second time, bringing immediately to mind the words Jesus had spoken. (Studies in the crowing habits of roosters suggest that the time would have been between 2am and 3am.)
Why does Mark include this sorry story? He wants his readers to understand that Jesus the Teacher, the man inside the house, is steadfastly faithful to God in contrast with the morally weak follower outside. Jesus is utterly alone as the faithful servant of God.
An absolute qualitative difference exists between him and his disciples. With the passing of the years the disciples will become famous as Christian leaders, but no one is to forget that Jesus is uniquely obedient to God, prepared to suffer the baptism and drink the cup (see 10:38).
The disciples are men with grievous flaws, with feet of clay; but Jesus is the heroic Son of Man. Only he is worthy to die for others.’
Mark, the Servant King, Paul Barnett ed., Aquila Press, Anglican Press Australia, 1991, p.259-260.