John 13:36 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentHere we find Peter reflecting upon what our Saviour had said just before, Whither I go, ye cannot come Joh 13:33 : he is inquisitive to know of Christ whither he went. Our Lord tells him, that for the present he could not follow him, but should hereafter; he was not yet strong enough to suffer for him, as he should and did afterwards. St. Peter, grieved at this, rashly resolves to follow him, though he should die for his sake. Christ advises him not to be over-confident of his own strength and standing, for he should deny him thrice, within the time of cock-crowing.
Observe here, 1. How that fond conceit, which our Lord's disciples had of his temporal kingdom here in the world, did abide and continue with them to the very last; for when Christ speaks of leaving them by ascending into heaven, Peter understands him of a removal that was earthly, fom one place to another, whereas Christ intended it of a removal from earth to heaven.
The opinion, that the Messias was to be a temporal prince, and that his kingdom should be of this world, was so deeply rooted in the minds of the Jews, that they stumbled at it fatally: and Christ's own disciples had so drank in the notion, that they wonder to hear Christ say, that he is going from them, and that whither he goes they cannot come.
Observe, 2. That Christ's disciples shall certainly follow their Master afterwards, and be forever with the Lord; but they must wait their Lord's time, and finish their Lord's work: they must patiently wait for their change, and not peevishly to heaven, they shall follow him afterwards.
Observe, 3. The greatness of St. Peter's self-confidence: I will lay down my life for thy sake.
Good man! he resolved honestly, but too, too much in his own strength. Little, O little did he think what a feather he should be in the wind of temptation, if once God left him to the power and prevalency of his own fears! The holiest of men knows not his own strength, till temptation brings him to the trial.
Observe lastly, how detestable St. Peter's presumption and self-confidence was to Christ, and how fatal and pernicious to himself; Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? As if Christ had said, "Peter thou sayest more than thou canst do; thine own strength will fail thee, and thy self-confidence deceive thee; I know thy heart better than thou dost thyself; and I foresee, that before the cock crows thou shalt deny me thrice."
Thence learn, That none are so near falling, as those that are most confident of their own standing.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.