54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house, and Peter was following at a distance. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” 57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” 58 And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:54-62)
“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” It seems it was only then that Peter realized what he had done. You can kind of imagine the intense emotions. Peter knows there is nothing he can do for his Lord now. He just wants to see it through, watch the trial and so forth. He only wants to do it from a distance, anonymously. But the staff at the house is to wise for that. They recognize a stranger, and they recognize that he must be one of those who was with Jesus because he was a Galilean. Peter doesn’t mean to forsake Jesus, but denies knowing him three times just as Jesus had said he would. And now Jesus looks at him as the rooster crows. Jesus has compassion on Peter. He has known Peter was there the whole time. He can understand why Peter does what he does. He only looks to say “I forgive.” And this is what Peter cannot take. He leaves in tears, sorrowful for what he had done.