Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”
Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 13:36-14:4)
Peter’s Heart Was Troubled
The final hours of Jesus were filled with a flurry of activity. Jesus has come to Jerusalem for the eternal purpose of offering Himself as a sacrifice for all men. Prior to His arrest, trial and death, the Lord spends time with His disciples carefully preparing them for the trial that was to come. He communes with them at the Passover Feast and after Judas leaves to put things in motion for the betrayal, Jesus institutes the feast of remembrance with the bread and fruit of the vine. The Lord startled the disciples when He had washed their feet (including Judas) and as the hour drew closer for the Gethsemane trial Jesus talks with the remaining eleven about His purpose in coming, the mission ordained by His Father and offers prayers for Himself, the eleven and all those who would believe in Him. The eleven were unaware of what was about to take place. Jesus refers to Himself going somewhere and Simon Peter is puzzled by these words asking his Lord where He was going. The cross would only hold one body and Peter could not imagine in a few hours he would witness the cruel death of his beloved master. Unknown to Peter and the ten the death of Jesus was in accordance with the divine will of God. Impetuous as he could be, Simon Peter is indignant that Jesus would leave without him declaring that he would fight for Jesus and even die for his Lord. The spirit of Peter must have touched the heart of Jesus but the Son of Man knew too well the heart of Peter. Prophetically the Lord declares that prior to the next morning’s light when the rooster will crow the proud and courageous Peter will have denied he knows Jesus of Nazareth three times. His final denial will end with the apostle cursing.
Jesus feels pity for Peter and begs him not to lose heart. He tells his close friend not to be troubled about what Jesus is telling him and what he unknowingly will witness very soon. There is a reason Peter must have courage: if he believes so strongly in the Father then he must trust what the Lord is about to do is the Father’s will and thereby he must believe in Jesus. The Lord tells Peter that His work as Savior is to prepare a way of salvation for all men and His death will bring that about as God designed. Peter should not be dismayed if the Lord tells him to put up his sword or to not seek revenge for what is about to happen. Men sometimes run ahead of the plan of God and Jesus assures Simon that everything is according to the plan of the Father. He does not tell Peter there are really mansions in heaven (a concept foreign to Peter) but dwelling places for the saints of God. When Jesus goes to prepare eternal salvation through the blood of the cross Peter will follow the Lord to where he is as will all those who are faithful. Jesus tells Simon Peter that He is not leaving him but going away so they can be together. What powerful words: “I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Looking back over the two millennia since Jesus died; we can see the plan of God unfold through the sacrifice of Jesus. The Bible opens up the portals of heaven to reveal the divine plan of the Son of God coming to redeem man and make a way of salvation possible. Peter was troubled in heart and was crushed when he denied the Lord. Those three days after the death of Jesus must have been agonizing. It is difficult to imagine how joyful the heart of Simon Peter would be when he saw Jesus face to face that first day. He would go on to preach a powerful sermon on Pentecost and devout his life to serving his Lord. One of the motivating ideals that drove Peter was knowing that Jesus had gone to prepare a dwelling place for him and that in death he would be reunited with his Lord for eternity. Jesus did go to prepare a place and He is coming back one day to take His people home with Him to dwell with His Father. There is no reason to be troubled with the affairs of this world. There will be times we will deny the Lord but forgiveness reigns eternal in the loving grace of God. Jesus died so that we may live. He left heaven that we might enter heaven. His death gave us life. He went to prepare salvation so that we could prepare our lives for His saving grace. Believe in God. Believe in Jesus. The way is prepared for you.