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Daily Reading: 30th May 2015

John 13.37-38

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.”

On my first day at work in 1961 the Station Master told me and the rest of the staff that I was not to lift anything heavier than 56 lbs (approximately 25 kg). This was because I was quite small and anything heavier would be too much for me. He was telling us that whether or not I felt able to lift more, I was not to do so, for fear of injuring myself.

Perhaps Peter and the other disciples may have wondered if Jesus thought that they were not capable of helping Him in the task that He faced. At this stage Peter understands that dying is a distinct possibility, since He tells Jesus that he would lay down his life for Him.

He may have felt disappointed that Jesus thought he was not up to the task.

Luke gives us some more of this conversation:

31 “Simon, Simon, how Satan has asked to personally sift you like wheat. 

32 But I prayed for you that your faith should not fail and when you have returned, to strengthen your brothers.

33 Then He said to Him: “Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with You.”

Peter was determined to declare to Jesus that he was prepared to resist the temptation to turn his back on Jesus. This was a brave and bold thing that he did, because he knew the possible outcome. He knew that it could mean he would not see his family again; he knew that he was probably signing his own death warrant; he knew that there was the real danger of his life being cut short.

Yet Jesus told him and the others that the way forward was a way for Him, was the way they were not able to take.

Part of our trust in Jesus must be that we accept those times when He bars our way, and when He withholds His permission. We may be disappointed, but in our heart of hearts we know that His way forward for us all is perfect, as are all His ways.

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