John 13:36-38 ESV
I’ve known a few people in my life who are extraordinary.
They stood out.
They were different.
So, when I’ve been asked if I’ve met anyone famous I think of those people.
Now, mind you the people I’ve met who are extraordinary were not wealthy. They had never been on the big screen. They weren’t in politics.
They were true prophets sent by God to proclaim His word.
My dad was sent to proclaim God’s word. He taught a Bible Class for over 25 years. That wasn’t what was extraordinary about him.
The truth is, he would say extraordinary things that were unexpected. It’s a little hard to explain, but sometimes out of the blue he would tell me about something that was going to happen.
Then later, it would happen.
I would go back to him to ask him how he knew it was going to happen and he would look at me and smile. Then he would give me his look.
I knew he was saying, Really? You’ve been with me this long and you still don’t know?
After he was gone I knew he spent his last days on earth praying for his family and friends. I believe he saw each one of my children in the future and he prayed for them.
I also believe his prayers are still carrying many of us today.
The first time I met someone like that other than my dad I was in my early 20’s. I was visiting a church and I met a man who was in this sixties. His face was worn and ruddy. His hair was thinning. I’d been told that he never went to high school. All his life he worked construction.
But when he spoke to me I felt like a hurricane had just passed through my soul.
He said things I didn’t fully understand.
He told me to be courageous.
He told me the power of God in me would sustain me.
He told me someday I would understand.
He was right. I came to a point in my life when everything crumbled. Everything I’d known was suddenly gone. I lost my marriage. I lost half of my family. I lost my church family. I lost my new home. I lost almost every friend I had (save one) outside of work. I lost 80% of my income. What was worse, I didn’t even understand why my world crumbled.
When that happened, I asked God to give me courage. I turned to God and asked Him to sustain me. There are things I still don’t understand, but God helped me to know what I needed to know.
In John 13:36-38 we read, “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.”
When Jesus told Peter he would deny Him three times, Peter didn’t believe Him.
Peter couldn’t imagine that He would EVER deny knowing Jesus!
Peter LOVED Jesus.
But, when Peter promised he would lay down his life for Jesus, he didn’t know that everything was about the change.
Peter didn’t know how lost and afraid he would feel.
He didn’t know that without the presence and power of Jesus, he would crumble.
The Feast of the Passover (celebrating the night the Angel of Death Passed Over the Hebrew children in Egypt when they painted blood over their door posts) was taking place from John 13:1 through John 18:11. This Passover was the third Jesus had celebrated with His disciples (https://www.biblicalfoundations.org/johannine-chronology/).
John 13:36-38 was when Jesus told Peter he would betray Him.
In John 18:12-13, Jesus was arrested.
Peter was separated from Jesus and His whole life changed. Suddenly the brave disciple Simon Peter crumbled in fear.
Jesus knew Peter would crumble, fail, and fall. But…Jesus also knew who Peter would be in the end.
Jesus knew Peter would fail miserably after the arrest and he would be so afraid he would hide. Peter was not present at the crucifixion.
He was hiding.
None of that mattered to Jesus because He forgave Peter even before Peter ran away like a scared child.
Jesus forgave Peter even before he denied Him.
Peter, the ROCK crumbled.
But because of Jesus’ great love and forgiveness, Peter became the ROCK for the new emerging church.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Receive Forgiveness
Receive Jesus’ forgiveness today.
In God, Deborah