Cannot

Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me?  John 13:36-38

To often, when I hear people talk about this scripture, they question Peters faith. I don’t believe there was a lack of faith on His part at all. I believe he was just guilty of overestimating it a bit. He thought he was ready to lay his life down. But he wasn’t, and Jesus knew it.

So Jesus responds to Him with four words: “you cannot follow now”. Not, you will not, but you cannot. I believe this is important because there is possibly a “cannot” resting somewhere inside our faith as well.

Listen, if anybody was going to follow Jesus it was Peter.
Peter had followed Him on the water.
But he wasn’t ready to follow Jesus to the cross.

Peter was not prepared to follow Jesus everywhere. Not just then anyway.  And the reality is you’re not fully prepared to follow Jesus everywhere either. Not at this moment.

The real truth is: Jesus isn’t expecting you to. While we find ourselves overestimating our faith, I think we underestimate just how patient Jesus is towards the lack of our own faith. It’s important to note that although Jesus expects you to exercise the faith you have, He does not expect you to exercise the faith you still have to develop.

More than likely there are places in your life where your faith is still lacking and moments you still struggle. The question in those times is similar to the question asked by Jesus: will you really lay down your life for Me?

If I where to answer for you and me, the answer would be no. But that is why He gave His life for you. That’s what He was leaving to do when He told Peter he couldn’t follow Him.

Practice the measure of faith that you have. Follow Jesus when and where you can.
Just know that His grace covers and He is patient with you while you are developing the faith to follow Him where you can’t go right now.