Jesus Predicts Peter’s Failure (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 213)
TEXT: John 13:36-38
36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 213.
Charles Swindoll said, “We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn’t come naturally. It’s a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.”
On the night prior to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, there is another shocking revelation that will be revealed to the disciples. This fourth revelation comes in Jesus’ response to Peter’s follow-up question to the third shocking revelation. You may not have noticed, but Peter was the only one of the disciples to respond verbally to each of these revelations. When Jesus began to wash His feet, Peter said, first, ‘Lord, thou shalt never wash my feet,’ and then, ‘Wash my head and my hand also.’ When Jesus revealed that one of His disciples would betray Him, Peter told John to ask Jesus who it was. And, now, after Jesus has revealed that He is going away very soon and that they would not be able to follow Him, Peter asks, “Lord, whither goest thou?”
In light of the traditional rabbi-disciple roles in first-century Judaism, Jesus going away so that His disciples could not follow was unthinkable. Disciples normally followed their teacher everywhere, many even giving up their regular occupation in the pursuit of righteousness. Disciples would never abandon their rabbi, so, in the mind of Peter and the other disciples, it is inconceivable for their rabbi to abandon them.
Jesus responds to Peter by saying, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now…” Of course, Jesus is referring to His death. (It is not clear whether the disciples understood that that was what He was talking about or whether they simply thought He was going to another location.) Either way, the disciples could not follow Jesus in His death on the cross. That was a work that Jesus had to accomplish alone. He would die and suffer the wrath of God so that they, and us, would not have to.
However, Peter would one day follow Jesus in death. That is why Jesus adds, “But thou shalt follow me afterwards.” Peter was crucified for his faith in Christ years later. Tradition has it that he requested that he be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to even die in the same manner as his Lord.
But, at the Last Supper, we see that Peter felt he had all the confidence he needed already. He said, “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “Peter could not conceive of any situation that would make Jesus’ words about Him leaving them necessary. He was certain that his love and courage were up to any challenge, including death. But Peter did not know himself as well as he thought, nor did he know the satanic power at work against him.”
Jesus’ response to Peter’s willingness to go anywhere with Him — even to death — sent a fourth shock wave through the disciples that night. He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.” To be told that one would deny his Master is a serious charge. Peter must have been baffled, confused, and perhaps a little upset that Jesus thought he would do such a thing. Some of the other disciples may have thought that Peter was the betrayer in their midst that Jesus had spoken of earlier. But, the difference between Peter and Judas is that Peter had a heart of good intentions — as night fell, he genuinely wanted to do right — whereas Judas had a heart of evil intentions, and had been plotting Jesus’ betrayal for days, if not weeks, before this night. Both of these disciples fell, but Peter was raised back up whereas Judas was lost forever.
What Peter did not understand was that now was not the time for him to be a hero. Jesus was the hero. Peter had said, “I will lay down my life for thy sake,” when, in reality, it was Jesus who would be laying down His life for Peter’s sake. Peter, who truly loved Jesus, failed because he did not trust God’s plan. He tried to do things his way.
Like Peter, it is easy to think that we have already arrived or reached spiritual maturity on our own. But the truth is that, in order to get through the spiritual difficulties that we face in life, we must learn to lean on Jesus. We must learn to let Him work through us. When He tells us what is best, we must learn to trust Him and not let our doubts get in the way of faith. He died so that we can be victorious.
I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
You can get on the path to spiritual victory today by trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior right now. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.