May 30, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
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.
When I was 17 I had a minor fender bender. Later that week I told my mom that I thought I should buy a new car, after all my old one was wrecked. She said, “Your father told me that you would want to do that.” I was astonished. How did my dad know what I would do and say before I did it and said it? As a father myself I now know the answer. He knew me.
Jesus knew Peter. He knew that His disciple was impressionable, impulsive, and desirous to be a leader. He also knew that Peter would go on to become a tremendous preacher and pastor. So much so that the Lord installed him as the first pastor of the church in Jerusalem. The Lord trusted the disciple with His earthly work, leading His church. But Jesus knew that Peter still had some things to learn.
In verse 37 of John 13 Peter proclaimed loudly and proudly …Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. To which the Lord gave the twenty first Verily, verily lesson. That lesson is a warning against presumptuousness. Peter claimed that he would die for the Lord, but later that night Peter denied Him.
How many times has this happened? Probably happens to everyone! “I will never do this or that!” Only to find ourselves doing this or that. Rest assured the Lord knows. He always knows, and He is there, ready to pick you up, dust you off, and get you back into the game. He is ready to forgive, having an eternal, unending, inexhaustible, and loving supply of grace and mercy ready and waiting. Why? He knows us. King David knew this truth, he wrote about it in Psalm 103:14, For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
With this Verily, verily lesson number twenty-one chapter thirteen of John is ended. In this chapter there were four Verily, verily lessons. Each one dealt with rejection of Christ in a different way, with perhaps the exception of number 18, the foot washing lesson. Even in that there is the lesson of rejection, Peter rejected the Lord’s service, only to then repent and accept it. A complete book could be written about that and still not cover all that should be covered.
But, let it forever be in the mind. Chapter thirteen is aptly numbered. Not that the number of the chapter is inspired, but rather it is practical. Everyone knows that the number thirteen represents evil, wickedness, and the like. Rejection of Christ, His workers, His will, and His way is well represented by thirteen.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.