“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 13:38 (NIV)
Some folks have the idea that Christianity is a crutch for weak people who can’t face reality. Exactly the opposite is true. If you follow Christ, He will confront you with the truth about yourself, the truth about other people, and the truth about the world.
That is exactly what is happening here. Peter had come a long way. He had confessed that Jesus is the Christ. He had seen the glory of Christ in the transfiguration. And his confidence was riding high.
When Jesus spoke about the cross, Peter was confident he could stand for Christ. Jesus said, “Where I am going, you cannot come” (13:33). But Peter says, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” (13:37). Jesus says, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” (13:38).
A few hours later, Jesus was arrested. A servant girl suggested to Peter that he was with Jesus, but Peter denied that he had ever known the Lord. Peter discovers that he is not the man he thought he was. He had felt so strong. He seemed to be making such good progress. But he has feet of clay, and his whole evaluation of himself changes.
We all know what this is like. You have been doing well. You are riding high and growing in confidence and in strength. Then you say something foolish, you do something you should never have done, and suddenly everything changes. Sin has a way of humbling us all.
How does it help you to know that even the disciples had their share of failures?