After singing a hymn, [Jesus and His disciples] went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.’

“But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

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

Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples said the same thing too.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” (Matthew 26:30-36)

“You will fail me.” That’s what Jesus told his disciples. But Jesus never gave up on them. After the Last Supper, Jesus and his disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. Or rather, Jesus went to pray. The disciples went to sleep. Jesus warned his disciples that they would all desert him. Likewise, he reassured them that he’d meet up with them again in Galilee after his resurrection.

Peter insisted that he would never deny Jesus. He affirmed a willingness to die for him. All the disciples insisted on the same and all of them missed the words of comfort Jesus offered. The disciples expected to fight for Jesus against the Romans. They did not expect Jesus to surrender and die meekly. Unable to die for him gloriously in battle as they had imagined, they fled. Though all the disciples ran, Peter was singled out with a prophesy. He stands out as the representative for all their bad behavior.

The disciples missed the promise of Jesus’ resurrection. So they spent three days in unnecessary misery, before the reality of his resurrection forced them to joy. Jesus was not surprised by their reaction. He planned for it. He fixed it. God knows us. He knows how we’ll react to our lives. He isn’t at a loss, and he won’t give up on us, no matter how often we give up on him, or worse, ourselves. Jesus will always go ahead of us to meet up with us again.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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