The will of man cannot trump the foreknowledge of an Omniscient God.
At the Thursday evening Feast of Unleavened Bread, Jesus began to become more specific about the events that would unfold over the next twenty-four hours. The truths that He told were startling, and all of the disciples, according to verse 19, were “sorrowful.”
Jesus foretold of His looming betrayal. He told of how His body would be broken, and how His blood would be shed to save all those who would put their faith in Him. He told how that following His death, all of His disciples would scatter and be as a flock of sheep whose Shepherd had abandoned them.
This truth did not seem like a good truth. It did not look joyous on the surface. By all accounts, Jesus dying seemed like the worst possible thing to any of His disciples. If He was not here, who would continue to teach His message? If He was not here, who would continue to care for the poor and lame? If He was not here, who would lovingly extend hope to all those in darkness? His dying did not fit into the plan His disciples appeared to have in mind. All these questions would find their answer soon enough, but for now, it seemed so unclear.
First, He had dashed their hopes of His immediate takeover of the Jewish Kingdom. Now, He was speaking ever so clearly about His imminent death and their subsequent falling away. All the disciples that night were heartbroken. All of them, it seems, except for Peter. With the boldness of a devoted servant, Peter confidently proclaimed, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I!” He had heard Jesus speak about him, and he refused to acknowledge the truth that Jesus spoke. Now, defending his honor and his love for Jesus, Peter boldly declared an undying allegiance.
Jesus in essence, responded lovingly to Peter, “I know what you want to do, but I also know what will actually happen. By the end of tonight you will have denied knowing me at least three times.” Peter did not acknowledge this truth and according to verse 31, spoke more “vehemently” (with force and passion).
Jesus knew what would happen, and He knew that it must happen. He certainly did not long for the disciples to fall away, but He lovingly demonstrated that His foreknowledge was greater than any power that they could muster of their own will. He was not going to make them fall away; He just knew that they would. This was one last chance to set the truth deeply in their minds and hearts that He was indeed God. They could trust Him, no matter what tomorrow would bring. They could have faith in all that He said. He was Omniscient God.
Food For Thought: Read John 13:31-38. This is the parallel account of the Last Supper. What great truth does Jesus teach here at the Last Supper, that John records in verse 34-35?