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33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”
34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
It started with a warning. Jesus and the disciples were celebrating Passover in the Upper Room and Jesus was trying to prepare his disciples for what was about to happen. Simon, the disciple whom Jesus had renamed Peter was adamant that whatever terrible thing Jesus was about to endure, that he would do the same.
And Jesus gives him the warning. Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. That’s a scary thing, that’s like a farmer taking the wheat and sifting it to find the impurities. The farmer sifts it and the integrity of the wheat is evaluated. And this is what Satan was going to do to Simon and the other disciples, sift them like wheat.
He was going to put them through the pressure cooker, he was going to see if they could walk the walk, he wanted to know if they were for real.
And Jesus warns the disciples, because he knows what is lying in store for them. He knows that 3 years of training are about to go from theory to application. Soon he would be out of their presence, and they would have to put there faith in God to the test.
Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift each of you like wheat. But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that you faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.
So many times in life when we get a warning, we react on the defensive instead of taking those words to heart. We take the warning and we try to counter it with our own knowledge and with our own drive and desires. But we miss the point of the warning, because God is not giving us the warning to see how smart we are, he is giving the warning to prepare us for what is coming down the pipe.
Simon Peter went on the defensive and impulsively replied, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you and even to die for you.”
He had missed the point. Jesus knew his intentions, he understood Simon’s heart and that isn’t why he gave the warning. He gave it to prepare Simon for what was about to happen.
The hardest, roughest, saddest, most depressing night of those 12 men’s lives was about to take place, and only Jesus understood the severity of what was going to happen.
It was going to be a time when character would rise to the top and overtake a man’s good intentions. It was a time when fear would grip the hearts of his disciples and they would desert the one they had called Lord.
And so Jesus pleaded in prayer for them. He pleaded that their faith would not fail, that they would rely on God and not themselves.
And he knew, that Simon’s impulsive response meant that he had missed the warning.
* When God warns you, don’t go on the defensive. Instead try to understand what He is saying to you.
And so Jesus spells out what is going to happen. Peter, Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.
And Peter is left speechless. How could
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