Jesus teaches His disciples in His Final Hours
John 13: 36
Let’s recount the very human emotions expressed in this passage of Scripture: the need to feel loved and to belong, the need to feel significant and secure and the need for interdependence. We’re around the table of the last supper. Jesus is still preparing his own for his departure. Today we come to a little twist in the story.
“Follow me.” Those were the initial words of invitation at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry to the disciples who were sitting around the table that evening. Peter and John heard those words on the seashore. Matthew heard those words as he was called from his life as a tax collector. Simon, the Zealot was called to follow from his political party. Each heard those words: follow me. You have heard those words and so have I. In fact, it is those words that constitute the primary call on our lives. “Follow me!” The action, the subject, the direction of our life is all tied up in that invitation to follow Jesus.
Following is not always easy. It entails commitment. It means going places that makes you feel unsure. It means giving up control. It means trusting another person.
The disciples were just about getting the hang of this “following” thing and now Jesus says to Peter “where I am going you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
You can hear the disbelief in Peter’s voice. What!? Why!? This is what I’ve done for three years, Lord, and now you call a halt to following?
No, Peter, not a halt for good. But it is important—no, it is imperative that we stop here for a moment. For while I want you to follow me completely and wholly, Peter, I need to take this time to build into the fabric of your life qualities that will enable you to follow well. I can still hear the frustration in Peter’s voice. And, I hear his insistence. “But, Lord, why can’t I follow you now!? I’m ready to die for you.”
How little Peter knew about himself. How little we know of our inner fortitude and resolve. But Jesus knows and sometimes slows us down or calls us to halt temporarily, not so that we will turn to follow something else but rather so that we won’t!
When frustrated on the journey because it looks like you’re on hold, hold on, because He’s building into you the fabric of His own character!