Luke struggled, but told the truth when Judas kissed Jesus. He does the same now when the disciples abandon Jesus. He knows they fled when Jesus was led away, and they're pointedly absent from the scenes that follow. But he doesn't draw attention to their flight.
The most notable detail in this passage is that Peter was following "at a distance." All four Gospels note this. Jesus, on the other hand, is never described as distancing himself from anyone. Ever.
In the sixth chapter of John's Gospel, there is a point when 'many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him." Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked if they wanted to leave too. It was Peter who stepped up and said, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
But now it's Peter who, having abandoned Jesus at the arrest, follows only "at a distance."
Perhaps your relationship with the Lord is a back-and-forth thing too, sometimes close, sometimes at a distance, or perhaps you keep part of your life at a distance.
A helpful reflection might be to picture Jesus quietly asking you: "Do you also want to leave?" An honest conversation about that might produce some surprising results.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw