John 13:36-38 WEB
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going, you can’t follow now, but you will follow afterwards.”  Peter said to him, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”  Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for me? Most certainly I tell you, the rooster won’t crow until you have denied me three times.
Peter was deluded. He thought he had the faith to die for Jesus, but instead, he denied Jesus at his most difficult time. Jesus understood Peter. Jesus knew by revelation that Peter was going to betray him. But Jesus also knew Peter. He understood that Peter was impulsive and emotional. So, he reassures Peter that he will follow him later. Even in the face of his imminent trial, Jesus begins to restore Peter. Previously Jesus said Peter was a rock and the gates of hell would not prevail against him (Mt 18:15). But right now, Jesus tells Peter he is going to deny him.
Jesus also tells Peter he will follow him later. At that moment Peter did not understand that Jesus was going to the cross. Peter did not realize the severity of the moment. He is being his impulsive self and bragging that he will never leave Jesus. But as always, pride goes before a fall (Pr 16:18). So, with Peter, his arrogant boasting is prideful and leads to his downfall. When the critical moment comes, Peter denies the Lord.
Yet he was not kicked out of the Kingdom of God. He was lovingly rebuked and later he is lovingly restored. After the resurrection, the Lord revealed himself to his disciples. He came several times and told them about himself from the Word (John 21). On one of those occasions, Peter and some of the disciples were fishing. The Lord called from shore about their catch and Peter immediately realized it was the Lord. When they got to shore Jesus was roasting fish over a fire. Jesus fed the disciples and then asked Peter 3 very difficult questions. He asks Peter if he loved him (John 21:15-17). In fact, he asked 3 times, the same number of times Peter denied the Lord. Jesus goes on to tell Peter to feed his sheep. Jesus not only restores him, but he also gives Peter purpose.
Lord, please forgive me for sin in my life. When my personality and character yield to the temptation to be ungodly, forgive me and restore me. Help me walk with you and honor you, Jesus. In Jesus’ name, amen.