“Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.” – John 13:36
The Lord was with the twelve in an upper room. After Jesus humbly stooped to wash His disciples’ feet, they celebrated the Passover meal one last time together. Afterward, Jesus was giving final instructions and words of comfort to His disciples. He told them that “where I am going, you cannot come.”
When Jesus says He is going away, Peter naturally wants to know where He is going. Peter and the others have been with Jesus virtually 24 hours a day since Jesus called them to follow Him. There have been times Jesus has sent them off on a mission or an errand of some sort, there were times Jesus snuck away from the group to pray and be alone with his Father. But the reality is, they were always together, so naturally Peter is curious about where Jesus is going that they cannot go.
This response is classic Peter. Quick to react and quick to speak while not always taking the time to think before reacting. If Peter were a rollercoaster, every rider would be in serious need of Dramamine from the constant ups and downs. It is pretty easy to understand the confusion because most of us know Peter. We understand Peter. Of all the people in scripture, Peter jumps out as one person we can identify with.
Peter typifies whom Jesus came to save. Jesus came to seek the lost. That includes Peter, you, and me. Jesus saved the lost. Jesus saved Peter. Jesus saved us.
So now we are carriers of the gospel. Sometimes it doesn’t go all that well. Most of us have done it. We’ve overstated (or at least, overestimated) our commitment, abilities, or strength. Our intentions, at the time, were probably good. We just didn’t realize Satan’s power to combine circumstance, fear, doubt, disillusionment … in a concoction brewed just right to bring us to our knees. Peter had a tendency to overstate everything in his early years as a disciple. Eventually, however, Jesus had a disciple fully prepared to lead powerfully while also walking humbly. Let’s not let our fears and failures keep us from following Christ and being used for His glory. In addition, let’s not overstate our ability to handle temptations, trials, difficulties, challenges, or problems and be bold carriers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- In what ways do you identify with Peter?
- What can we do this week to be a better carrier of the gospel of Jesus Christ?