(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
(9). Peter’s Denial And The Disciples Desertion Of Jesus Predicted
“Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” . This is quoted from Zechariah and our Lord continues to tell them, “It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” . Our Lord was aware of His approaching trial and crucifixion and He knew that this would be a perilous time for His disciples as they would be accused and possibly included as His followers. He then reminds them of the occasion on which He had sent them out to preach and told them not to take purse, bag or sandals as He would ensure that such provisions were made for them; now He instructs them to take these necessities with them and also to include a sword (not literally), meaning that they should now be prepared to defend themselves from the coming persecution, that is why when they said to Him “here are two swords” He replied “That is enough”implying that He was referring to a figurative sword .
As our Lord continues to speak to the disciples He speaks of His glorification and says, “Where I am going, you cannot come.”…. “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”, to which Peter responds “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” . They could not follow their Lord where He was about to go, because He had to suffer alone. Little did Peter understand the trouble the coming hours would bring him, and what he would do because of his association with the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says to Peter “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”, and even though Peter insisted that He was ready to go to prison or to suffer death for his Master, this was not the time for him to do so, but more important, our Lord Jesus says to him, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” . Here we see again that in the permissive will of God, Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial could not and would not defeat the plan of God for our salvation.
Our lord then closes this session with His disciples by giving them a new command – “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” , although not new, for it was already given , but for the disciples it was new because it would reflect their Lord’s great love for them and our distinguishing mark as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ .