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8. Jesus’ Predictions on His Way to Gethsemane
(Matthew 26:30-35)
30And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.31Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’32But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”33Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”34Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”35Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples. (Psalm113:118, Matthew28:7, John13:38,16:32)

During the last supper, Jesus established the new covenant with His followers. Having instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, He closed the Passover meal with the prescribed hymns stated in Psalm 118. Then he stood up and moved forward to His death with firm determination.
He did not think about his coming pain and suffering, but about his weak disciples. He warned them of the imminent struggle to remain faithful to Him but also comforted them with the assurance of His victorious resurrection. Today, Christ leads his flock in triumph as he promised and strengthens His followers to live an overcoming life. By His power, we can walk in the steps of Christ who was raised from the dead.
The disciples did not anticipate the violent struggle awaiting them against the evil spirits opposed to God’s plan. Perhaps they thought that their own power was sufficient for the coming struggle. Because they considered themselves more powerful and artful than the devil, Christ foretold their complete defeat.
The disciples did not understand Jesus’ quote from Scripture, and did not recognize that God would strike the Shepherd and His chosen sheep of the flock would be scattered (Zechariah 13:7). This thought was beyond their minds and posed an obstacle to them. Was it possible for God to allow the Savior of the world to be killed?
Peter was unhappy with Jesus’ prediction that he and the other disciples would deny Christ. He pridefully objected and touted his absolute faithfulness to his Lord. Yet, Jesus already knew of the rooster crows and the threefold denial of His disciple. He warned Peter by this prediction that he would fall into sin because he trusted in his own strength.
Peter was bold and had great confidence in himself. On most occasions he was first to speak, especially to speak of himself. Sometimes Christ’s words were a real revelation, but at other times they exposed him as on this occasion.
Peter bound himself with a promise that he would never deny Christ – not now or ever. If this promise had been made in a humble dependence upon the grace of Christ, it would have been an excellent confession. Examining ourselves is our foundational duty.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, We love You because You warned all Your disciples about the coming temptation. You were willing to help Peter, in particular, that he might learn not to trust in himself. Yet, he did not pay attention to Your warnings. Forgive us for not observing Your warnings but trusted our own cleverness and power. Help us to become strong by abiding in you. Take our hands and lead us that we may walk protected by You.

Why did Peter not believe Jesus’ warnings?