124: Final words to the disciples
During that last evening with Jesus, the disciples still did not understand very much. They could not believe that Jesus was going to leave them, although He told them openly He would.
What the Savior said to them that night sounded so strange! They sat around Him, thinking of how much they loved Him, but He declared that they would be unfaithful to Him.
Sadly He said, "You will all fall away on account of Me. It is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee."
They hardly heard the last couple of sentences. Fall away on account of Jesus. Forsake Him?
They shook their heads firmly. That was impossible! They felt so sure of themselves, so strong and faithful in their love! They didn't realize how weak their faith was and how strong satan was. They did not know how easily they could fall if God did not protect them.
Peter felt stronger than any other disciple. He was almost angry that Jesus dared to say such things. He gave Jesus a fiery answer from his heart, "Even if all the others should fall away, I will never forsake You."
He did not yet know what a horrible night this would be. Peter would be attacked by satan himself.
Jesus knew what was to happen. Therefore He warned him, "Peter, Peter! Satan has asked to have you, to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you so that your faith might not falter."
Even this rebuke did not restrain Peter. "Lord, I am ready to go with You into prison, and to die with You," he said. "I will give up my life for You."
The Savior shook His head sadly and asked, "Will you give up your life for Me? Truly, I say to you, even before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times."
Peter and the other disciples simply didn't believe Jesus. Deny Jesus? Claim that he did not know Him and was not one of His disciples? Peter would rather die than do such a thing!
Jesus had much more to say to His disciples that evening. He was addressing some final words to them. The disciples could sense that. Their hearts were heavy with disappointment and sadness.
Jesus comforted His disciples and explained why He had to leave them. He was going to His Father's house to prepare a place for them. Later they would come to Him and stay with Him forever.
He would not leave them all alone on the earth. He promised to pray to the Father to send the Holy Spirit into their hearts. The Spirit would comfort them and lead them and always stay with them. He would help them understand all that now seemed mysterious to them.