Author: Kenny Chan, English Pastor, Chinese For Christ Church of San Jose
36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! (John 13:36-38, NIV)
In this passage of Scripture, once again we see Peter, the future leader of the church, sticking his foot in his mouth by biting off more than he could chew. On one hand, you have to admire Peter for his bravado and willingness to lay it all on the line for the Lord Jesus, yet on the other hand, you have to laugh at him for making such a ‘boisterous claim.’ Peter would go on to publicly deny knowing the Lord Jesus three times within a relatively short period of time. Immediately afterwards, the Scriptures tell us that Peter wept like a broken man (Luke 22:62).
Yet, I wonder how often as followers of Christ, we tend to be like Peter in thinking or behaving as if ‘we could do anything’. Now, perhaps we wouldn’t be so boisterous or arrogant to say it publicly, yet privately, that’s what we think or assume. I know for myself, I’ve unwisely made some claims or commitments which later on I’ve come to regret. And, when I’ve stopped to mull over and honestly reflect on what motivated my claim, I have to admit that more often than not, it’s primarily because I trusted in my own understandings and abilities rather than humbly coming before the One who truly knows everything, including me, and trusting in His direction.
Jesus’ reply in verse 38 to Peter’s claim strikes at the heart of his reliance and dependence. However, this reliance and dependence is more self-directed and self-driven rather than Christ-centered. I wonder for us today, in our circumstances, might we be facing a situation in which we’re looking to ourselves or our own understandings rather than trusting or waiting upon His direction. Let me encourage you to perhaps wait until you sense His clear direction or leading in this matter rather than rushing off or rushing ahead of Him.
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior