Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times. John 13:36-38
If you noticed, the title I used today is just a bit different than how John wrote in his Gospel. John has Jesus talking about a future event. However for God there are no past or future events. God resides outside of time as we know it. From our perspective time moved in one direction from the past to the future. While we remember the past there is no way to get back to it and the future is a mystery. But God knows what I am going to do tomorrow and every day after that.
Still Peter was free to either deny Jesus or not, this was not something that God made Peter do. However, Peter is just like the rest of us. His personality and the way he deals with things are uniquely his but they also make it hard for him to do things against their nature. Peter had no way of knowing what was going to happen over the next few days. If he had perhaps he would have been brave enough to let everyone who asked that yes he did know Jesus. Not only that but he was a follower of Jesus.
When Jesus was arrested and put on trial, Peter was afraid. No one wants to go through what Jesus was going through. Peter had doubts like we do and he probably wonder if just maybe he was mistaken about who Jesus was. What if he had been wrong? Was he willing to risk imprisonment or maybe death for a mistake? I think Peter reacted the same way I would have and I suspect most would react. He tried to protect himself and those he loved.
Peter would end up denying Jesus the three times. But once he found out that Jesus really was the promised Messiah, Peter turned out to be one of the most important people in the spread and growth of the early church. It was not so important how Peter did in the early part of the race, it was how he finished that counted and Peter finished well. It is my prayer that that can be said of each of us.
Have a blessed day,