Why Can’t I Follow NOW? – John 13:33-38

Jesus was about to die, there is an urgency behind his words in John 13-16.  the disciples didn’t understand the urgency because they didn’t know what was ahead; however, I am sure they felt the urgency even though they didn’t understand. 

As they say “ours is not to reason why …”

Have you felt God’s urgency in his commands, do this or do that?  Yet we have desires, other plans.  Did you hear his command?  do you sense the urgency?  Then do it

Jesus says v33a “I will be with you only a little longer.” that’s a clear word … a disturbing word.  Further clarity … v33b “where I am going you CANNOT come.”  Still further CLARITY … a Command v34 “love one another” that’s the command.  “as i have loved you” that is the comparison, the qualifier.  The Purpose v35? “by this (your love) all men will know that you are my disciples.”

yet in spite of the clarity, Peter, like us, like all “children”, is stuck on what he CANNOT do “you cannot come”

Peter v36 says “Lord, where are you going?”

It doesn’t matter because “you cannot come now, but you will follow later”

v37 “Lord why can’t I follow you NOW?”

Oh the tyranny of the NOW.  Peter reveals his immaturity in this exchange.  He is setting aside the clear instruction, the clear commands, the clear purpose, the clear separation of yes and no, and instead wanting to focus on the unknown and the not now.  One of the clearest evidences of immaturity is impatience and impertence.  

“Why not now daddy?”  “Why not now Lord?”

I’ve said it many times to parents, and also to Christians seeking an answer from God, “no is not a bad word”.  No is sometimes the answer of a loving parent and a loving God.

“Why can’t I do this NOW Lord?”  

“Because NOW I said NO.  Because NOW I have a different purpose.  Because NOW you are to LOVE one Another.”

They were to love one another for two reasons: one spoken, and one unspoken.  The spoken reason was that the world may know you are mine.  Follow me, love like me, as an agent of revelation to a watching world.  The Unspoken reason was that their world was about to get shaken.  Jesus would be taken, then return, but then leave and they were going to NEED one another.  Jesus leaves us behind because somebody needs us.  So, look up, look around, this is not about you.  This is HIS Story.  So if he says “you can’t come.”  “You cannot go.”  “You stay here.”

1) you don’t know yourself as well as you think you do.  Peter said “I will lay down my life” and Jesus says “yeah well, not today you won’t, you aren’t that strong yet.”

2) you don’t know his plans like you think you do.  Jesus said “yes you WILL follow me, but LATER, you WILL lay down your life

3) he has a purpose –  But TODAY Love, Encourage, Wait

Jesus was urgent in his words.  He was sober in his words, so NOT going NOW, must be important.  

Trust the Urgency

Trust the Instruction

Wait when he says “wait”.  

The “exciting” will come soon enough. His plans are more important than mine and more perfect than mine.  His timing is impeccible.  

As High as the Heavens are above the earth, so much higher are your thoughts than my thoughts, your ways than my ways Oh Lord

So 14:1 Jesus says “Do not let your hearts be troubled (in the waiting) Trust in God; Trust also in me.”

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