John 13:35-38
John 13:35 (KJB)
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
True sacrificial love is the revelation to the world that Christians are the real deal. Many in religion just go through ritual but true Christianity exhibits itself by means of a sacrificial mindset coupled with corresponding deeds. When Christians are involved in real sacrifice for others, Jesus is then glorified because His children are walking in the same way which He did. It shows the difference between religion and Christianity. Religion does things to gain God’s approval whereby the Christian already has God’s approval by being in Christ. (1 John 3:16 KJV) Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. This does not necessarily mean that we will be physically killed for another, it could happen, but this verse is more fully understood as we give ourselves in service to others, in both bringing the gospel and works which correspond with the true gospel. As we serve others, we have less time for ourselves. Remember the principle of the foot washing. Proclamation of the Gospel along with service in the Gospel is the normal Christian life.
John 13:36 (KJB)
Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
Peter should probably have known better than to ask where the Lord was going. Jesus had told them many times about His impending crucifixion. First, Jesus answers Peter by telling him that he cannot follow Him now. The key word is “now” because Jesus will be going to the cross very shortly. The word “now” in the Greek means immediate presence or particular point in time. At this particular time, Peter will not be able to follow Jesus. However, Jesus gives a ray of hope to Peter and tells him that He will follow Him afterwards. The word “afterwards” may also be translated as “at last or finally.” Since it is Peter in view here, I wonder if Jesus is giving him another hint that he too will be crucified as the final act of his life on earth. That phrase also means that Peter cannot follow Jesus at this moment but after He has been resurrected, then Peter’s ministry will begin.
John 13:37 (KJB)
Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
Here Peter is showing that he is tough enough to go with Jesus. Peter loved the Lord and was no doubt sincere in his statement, but here he is speaking out of emotion which normally always clouds the issues at hand. However, Peter did fulfill a little of his statement by removing the ear of Malchus. (John 18:10 KJV) Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. I do not believe that anyone could reject the reality that Peter was a very tough man being a fisherman for many years. In that profession, you build muscles and street character. Peter did not understand that Jesus had to go to the cross alone to fulfill prophecy but he would understand afterwards.
John 13:38 (KJB)
Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
Peter seemed to forget that Jesus being God would know the beginning from the end and although Peter thought he was bring brave and one step above the other disciples, receives a very eye opening prophecy. Jesus told Peter that he would not die for Him, instead he would deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed at dawn. Here Peter states he would die for Jesus but instead he is going to run in the opposite direction. I am sure Peter probably rejected that statement because Peter’s pride would not have accepted that. This was a very good plan on God’s part to have Peter go in the opposite direction. If there was any inkling that Peter had gone through this with Christ, can you imagine what the Roman Catholic Church would have done with that? It is bad enough they made him the first Pope, which of course, lacks any historical evidence. They would have made him co-redeemer along with Mary thus increasing their heresy more.