John 13:36 – Peter Following Jesus

John 13:36  Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.”

I received an email recently with the following question:

Can you provide me a good explanation of Jesus’ words in John 13:36 – I’ve looked up all my resources & can’t find a worthy explanation for that one. My Christadelphian source says it is speaking of the type of death Peter will experience… not sure? maybe. “where I go, you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow later.”

I would imagine that some would agree with the thoughts of my friend above.  I think that this explination may be just what Jesus was speaking about. I am sure othesIn light of the context of the disciples loving each other as Christ loved them (v34 &35) Peter says that he will follow Jesus wherever he goes – and Jesus says that he cannot follow Him where he is going – maybe it isn’t so much he he cannot die like Jesus will, but Peter will later, but the steps Jesus is going to take are not steps that Peter because of his lack of faith, but will be restored later.

I only say this because the next verse is in regards to Peter not following Jesus to the death but denying him. Compare this section to what Peter says in the other Gospels:

Matthew 26:33 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away because of You, I will never fall away.”

Mark 14:29 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.”

Luke 22:33 But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”

I think Luke gives us the best picture to what I think John 13 might be talking about – He wants to follow Jesus, but because of the fear that Peter has in his heart (which will be evident in the 3x denials that are about to take place), he cannot follow Jesus – but as we know, he will later.

What do you think?


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