“On Your Mark”
A Hope and a Future (Chapter 14 V 27-31)
The response of Peter (vv29-31) is a very self confident one, too self confident. No, he says, not all of us, I will not. And Jesus even warns him again (v30), but still Peter resists. Jesus with an impressive “verily (truly) I say unto you”, had he ever done anything else with Peter but tell him the truth? No never! And so he even tells him what he individually and personally will do, his outrageous act of denial. He will be thoroughly disgraced, to such an extent he will see himself not only unfit to be an apostle and minister of the gospel, but even a disciple of Jesus Christ. The crowing of a cock is something that will cause Peter for the rest of his entire life, to cringe. But of course there is grace here also, not just warning, because the crowing of the cock will not only signal Peter’s denial, but the beginning of his restoration, because the sound will bring to his mind the very words of Jesus spoken here. The crowing cock and the look of Jesus (Luke 22.61), will break Peter’s Christian heart. This is a rather foolish, self confident disciple here, but he is no Judas Iscariot.
But Peter is not listening (v31). He is ready for martyrdom, or so he thinks. Yes one day, but he is not ready yet. He is very sincere but it is all him, all Peter. Self must die first (Galatians 2.20), for Peter, self is about to die, big time. But it is a beginning not an end, it is not defeat. It may look that way, but it is not. Do you remember Joseph in the Old Testament being sold into slavery? You may in a first time reading of that story think, he is beaten, defeated. But the end of it was, years later God saved Israel, and brought his brothers to repentance (Genesis 50.20). Then the three Hebrew lads, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, thrown into the fiery furnace, heated seven times over (Daniel 3.16-26). Definite defeat you think? But God had other plans for them, he delivered them. And of course Calvary. To see Jesus on that Roman gibbet, to see him laid in that tomb, did not his disciples, these very men whom he speaks to now, did not they think it to be all over (Luke 24.13-24). Yes Peter too. Following the crowing of that cock for the third time, watching him going back to the fishing business (John 21.3), you would have thought, it is all over for Peter. But God had other plans. God knew the end, he knew all along how things would work out. And Jesus here, looks straight through the tomb to the resurrection, he knows the victorious outcome, and for Peter too (John 21.1-25). A future, a hope, restoration, peace with God. Wonderful!
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)