31 Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.
The storm was about to thunder down on Jesus and His disciples. Jesus now prepared His disciples for the events surrounding the cross. Jesus predicted that His disciples would disown Him (26:31-35).
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble [fall away] because of Me this night,
All the disciples would stumble and desert Him because of fear of association with Him. Jesus said they would fall away “because of Me.” Judas had already departed; thus it was the remaining 11 who would fall away.
for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Jesus quoted from Zechariah 13:7 to show the disciples that thunder clouds were coming and that they would disown Him in the process. It was all in God’s plan. It was God’s plan to “strike the Shepherd.”
But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
After rising from the dead, Jesus would come to them again in Galilee. There was nothing more encouraging to the disciples than that Jesus would rise from the dead. That was exactly what He did. They would rendezvous in Galilee after His resurrection.
Mt 28:7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”
Peter, as the spokesman for the group, reacted strongly against Jesus’ suggestion that “all” of them would stumble because of Him. He made the rash pronouncement that he would never forsake the Lord even though everyone else might defect from Jesus. Peter thought himself superior to others.
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny [disown] Me three times.”
Jesus took the wind out of the sails of Peter by saying that he would disown Him three times. (Mark adds that, before the rooster would crow “twice,” Peter would do this.) The rooster would crow in the morning. It would not be long before Peter denied the Lord three times that very night. His denial was imminent.
Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples.
Amazingly, Peter and “all the disciples” contradicted the Lord on the point of denial. Peter was firm that he would die rather than deny the Lord. This was pure presumption. Jesus did not pursue their presumption further at this time.
There is a lot of crow but little courage among Christians.
We often think we have greater loyalty to the Lord than we do. We are weaker than we think when it comes to spiritual things. We like to think that we would never deny the Lord, but we may not have been in a situation where we face great cost to us personally. This is especially true when it comes to life or death. Our ministry has people in different parts of the world in jail. Some have been killed for sharing the gospel. This is a present reality.
2 Ti 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
It is encouraging to know that the Lord is realistic about our failure and that He is willing to welcome us back into His fellowship.