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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

June 3, 2022

The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ

John 21:18

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

The last Verily, verily teaching of our Lord gives subtle insights to His ability to know all things from beginning to end. Jesus is speaking to Peter. Three times Christ asks Peter …lovest thou me? This repetitive question was not for the Lord’s sake, but rather for Peter’s. Jesus knew this man’s heart. Peter though had to come to that place of total and absolute allegiance to His Savior through love for Him.

By just reading today’s verse some ambiguity may exist, but coupled with the very next verse there remains no question. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. Jesus knew Peter’s future. Jesus also knows yours.

He may not choose to tell us all our future, but He knows it. He knows how much time you have left on this earth. He knows the manner of death that will occur which will transport you into eternity. He knows the struggles of life today, and when the end of life will come before it comes. He knows.

Perhaps this is why He answers our prayers the way He does. He knows that there are some things we need, some things we do not need, and some things for which we do not have the time. Perhaps this is why things happen the way they do. He is preparing us for that time of departure. Perhaps this is the reason for the sorrow, hardships, difficulties or suffering; to prepare us for the next step, the step into eternity. For example, sometimes individuals have to watch their loved ones suffer before being called home. Often the reason for the suffering is not for the one about to pass away, it is for their loved ones, to prepare them to let them go. Sometimes death takes place suddenly, all too sudden and all too soon. In this there is a reason too. Perhaps a “shake up” or “wake up call” needs to be delivered. Who knows! One thing is certain, we don’t, but He does.

“Perhaps” is an incomplete word that is all together less than assuring and altogether unsatisfying, but it is what it is. We don’t know, but He does. He knew what Peter would face. In a way the Lord was giving Peter the comfort of knowing that the disciple would grow old. This, no doubt, gave Peter the boldness to preach, teach, and lead the way he did, the way he needed to do. This is one of the subtle lessons of the twenty fifth, and last, Verily, verily teachings of our Lord. The big take away is… He knows! In this we can love and trust Him above all else.

Until Next Time,

William T. Howe, Ph.D.

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