Lesson 83


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

13:36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?"

Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you can't follow now, but you will follow afterwards."

13:37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why can't I follow you even now? I will lay down my life for you."

13:38 Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for me? Most assuredly I tell you, the rooster won't crow until you have denied me three times.

14:1 "Don't let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions. If it weren't so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 14:3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. 14:4 Where I go, you know, and you know the way."


 Today's Lesson 

When Jesus began this conversation with His disciples, He did so on a note of finality. They could not have missed that Jesus was in a sense saying goodbye to them here. Peter clearly understands this and wants to know where Jesus is going. Jesus understands their distress, but He also knows that this is a trial that they must live through. He knows that there will be pain and disappointment that comes from His death. This is necessary to the plan of God, however, and must be endured. Jesus tells them that they cannot follow where He is going, but one day they will.

 

Peter shows His impetuous streak again by declaring that he not only wishes to follow Jesus, but also is willing to lay down his life for Jesus. Peter's heart is good and he truly believes what he is saying. Many times we make promises, to others, and ourselves that we cannot keep. Jesus understood Peter's limitations and that Peter would not be willing to lay down his life for Jesus tonight. One day Peter would be willing, but not tonight. So, Jesus tells Peter in the presence of all of them that, "the rooster won't crow until you have denied me three times."

 

It was not necessary that Peter lay down his life at this point. There was only one sacrifice that was necessary on this Passover. And, God had provided the lamb. Jesus knew that in the end they would all desert Him. And, in some sense He was counting on it as well. There was no reason for the flock to be taken, only the Shepherd.

 

And so, on the eve of His death, He tries to comfort them. "Don't let you hearts be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me." He tells them to have faith. Have faith in the purpose of God. They should have faith in Him as well because of all that they had seen Him do and say. If we have faith in what God has told us and shown us, we need not fear in any situation.

 

If they had faith in what he had been saying all along they would realize that He would be returning to His Father's house. He would be going on ahead of them and preparing them a place there. If they were His sheep, He would not be deserting them, even in death. He was only going before them and preparing a place for them. He would return for them and bring them to His Father. He gives them the great hope of all Christians, "where I am, you may be there also."

 

For those of us that have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, our purpose and goal is to be with Him. Our objective in life is to live in His presence and work in His service. There is a real sense in which we live in His presence today. Christ is with us. He lives in us and we are never far from Him. But, our goal is always to be closer to Him. One day we will be face to face. One day we will be home, with our Father.

 

Do you know the way to the Father's house? Has Christ prepared you a place with Him? Do you eagerly await the return of the Holy One of God?

 

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