57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end.
Peter follows Jesus at a distance because at this moment his “following” has become provisional. He is now uncertain about the end game. He sits with the guards “to see how this would end.” Implied; he had and ending worked out, but this is not it, so now, everything is provisional until we see were this is going.
This is why eschatology is so important: how is it going to end? What is the telos to which we are oriented? If the telos is a table where a feast has been prepared, and if that table will be hosted by Messiah, how does that end state compel me today? If, gathered at that table, are people from everywhere, and of every variety, how does that end state compel me today? If I’m going to be sitting next to these people then, shoulder to shoulder, eating food from the same tray, can I distance myself from them today?