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§ 270. The Request of Peter.—Christ predicts Peter’s Denial of Him. (John, xiii., 36-38.)

So strongly were the disciples wedded to their earlier ideas and expectations, that it seemed impossible to make them realize the approaching departure of Christ. Peter, alarmed at his words, inquired, “Lord, whither goest thou?” Jesus, in reply, explained the sense of his words, at the same time intimating that Peter should be able, at a later period, though he then was not, to follow the Master through suffering: “Whither I go thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me afterward.” Peter, ever rash and self-confident, was not satisfied to wait for the future: believing himself then able, he asked, “Lord, why can I not follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.”

Christ then predicted his three-fold denial—the punishment of his froward self-confidence: “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? The cock shall not crow till thou hast denied me thrice.”725725   The agreement of three independent accounts—Matthew, Luke, and John—in stating this remarkable incident, confirms its credibility. In John’s Gospel, it is presented in an obvious connexion; in the other two, as an isolated fact.

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