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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 20, 2022

The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ

John 13:36

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.

Basically, Jesus states that Peter could not follow him in death at that time, but later Peter would follow Him in death. Historians say that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome by Nero around 66-68 AD. No one knows if that is true or not for there is no Biblical evidence of such, but regardless of how, when, or where, we do know this – Peter died. He did follow Jesus in death.

Another thing we know is that immediately after telling Peter that he could not follow Jesus now but would later, the Lord also told this disciple that he would deny Jesus three times that night. In the verse following our verse today Simon Peter asked: … Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. To which the Lord responded: 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.

Peter boastfully claimed that he was willing to die for Jesus. Yet, when real life danger came, this same man was not willing to live for the Savior. Many claim this today, “I would die for Him” which is well and good. But, however, the greater question is “Will you live for Him”? At least for one night Simon had a bad spell of fear overtake him. He failed in the area of which he boasted. Yes, he would go on to serve Christ in a miraculous way. But on that one dreaded night, he stumbled in his allegiance to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The lesson. We don’t have to let one past failure characterize the future. If anyone finds that they have stumbled from “Following Him,” get up, dust yourself off, and get back into the game. Many commercials on investing give this warning “Past performance is not indicative of future results.” This is true in investing. It is also true in “Following Him.” Past failures do not indicate future failures. To the contrary, in service, devotion, and love for the Lord, past failures are fuel for future successes. Probably Peter never forgot his night of betrayal, it was a cautionary tale that Jesus allowed him to experience to mold him into the man the Lord needed for him to become. The same is true for any and all who simply choose to “Follow me.”

Until Next Time,

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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