John 13.36 cont.
36 Simon Peter said to Him: “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied: “Where I am going now you are not able to follow Me; but later on you will follow.”
Jesus told Peter that he was initially unable to follow Him. The time was not right for Peter to go where Jesus was going. Therefore, Jesus was telling Peter, and the other disciples, that the time had come for Him to leave them so that He could accomplish the purposes for which He had come into the world. However, it was to be a lonely journey.
The journey that Jesus was about to embark on was the journey of winning the salvation of souls. No one else could do this. No one else in all of creation or history had the power to enter into the battle with the powers of evil and defeat them.
Paul described this by writing:
Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross – Colossians 2.15 (NIV).
This was the work that Jesus was about to go and do. It was the time when the kingdom of darkness was going to do all it could to snuff out the Light of the world, Jesus. It was a battle that Jesus had to face alone. There was nothing that the disciples could do to assist Him, because they, like us were sinful human beings.
The disciples would not have understood what Jesus was about to do, therefore, they would not have understood why they could not go with Him.
No doubt they were disappointed. Perhaps they were bemused that after three years together with Jesus, He was to leave them behind.
They may have wondered what the future held for them, how the work of their Master was to continue, if at all.
Perhaps they would have had many questions that they would have liked answers to. All we know is that Jesus told them that at that moment they could not go where He was going, but that they would do so at a later time.
There are many uncertainties that we have to face, but there is the certainty that the day is coming when all who have received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour will go to be where He is.