What Jesus Did! 'Overstated Commitment' — John 13:36-38

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

[After Jesus told the disciples they couldn't come where he was going,] Simon Peter asked, "Lord, where are you going?"

And Jesus replied, "You can't go with me now, but you will follow me later."

"But why can't I come now, Lord?" he asked. "I'm ready to die for you."

Jesus answered, "Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter — before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me."

— John 13:36-38 NLT

Key Thought

Most of us have done it. We've overstated (or at least, overestimated) our commitment, abilities, or strength. Our intentions, at the time, were probably good. We just didn't realize Satan's power to combine circumstance, fear, doubt, disillusionment ... in a concoction brewed just right to tear us down and humiliate us. Peter had a tendency to overstate everything in his early years as a disciple. [1] However, once Peter suffered through his personal embarrassments and failures, Jesus had a disciple fully prepared to lead powerfully while also walking humbly. [2] Let's not let our failures keep us from following Christ and being used for his glory. In addition, let's not overstate our ability to handle temptations, trials, difficulties, challenges, or problems. God's strength is made perfect when we realize our weakness and vulnerability and then rely on his strength to sustain us!

[1] For example, Matthew 14:25-31, 16:21-22.
[2] For example, see Peter's later teaching: 1 Peter 4:10-11, 5:5-6.

Today's Prayer

Father, please forgive me for the times I've failed after I overestimated my ability to handle a problem. I know that I cannot face the challenges of life and faith without your power and presence. Strengthen me for the days ahead so that I can be a blessing to others and honor you with faithfulness in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Corinthians 12:6-10
  • 2 Corinthians 4:5-7
  • 1 Corinthians 1:22-29


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Illustration of John 13:36-38 NLT — "Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter — before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.