John 13.37-38 cont.
37 Peter said to Him: “Lord, why am I not able to follow You yet? I will lay down my life for You.”
38 Jesus replied: “Will you really lay down your life for Me?” In all sincerity I say to you that the rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.”
In verse 38 Jesus laid bare what Peter was going to do. We can only imagine how Peter would have felt about this.
It may have made him to be determined for it not to happen. He was a strong character, who was very determined to be faithful to Jesus, even unto death. Surely he could remain steadfast in his devotion to his Master!
As Jesus had fore-warned him, in his mind he may have thought that he could be on the look-out for the moment when he would be tempted to state his denial of knowing Jesus.
Jesus had given him fair warning by stating that his threefold denial would occur before the cock crowed. Therefore, his denial of Jesus was to take place during the night.
We may assume that Jesus was talking about the coming morning, since, as we know the cock crows during the dawn period.
Therefore, the warning of Jesus to Peter is closely related in time to when it was to happen.
What Jesus said to Peter was the warning of love. It was not a warning issued out of frustration with Peter. It was not a warning that was meant to humiliate Peter.
Instead it was the warning issued in love for him, so that when it happened Peter would know that His Master still loved Him and accepted him. This fact was displayed in Jesus restoring Peter, after He had been raised from the dead.
We are all frail human beings, and, therefore, we all have those moments when we do something that is completely out of character. Jesus was telling Peter that he was about to do something that was not in line with his character.
It is a sad fact that when we behave in a similar manner there will be those who are not willing to accept us back. There will be those who will scoff at us, or will point the figure at us, and avoid having anything more to do with us.
It is also a sad fact that there may be times when we behave in this unforgiving and unloving way towards a brother or sister who has missed the mark.
In such times it is essential that we seek to obey the New Commandment of Jesus to love one another as He loves us.