Weekly Devotion – John 13:36

Published 10:12 pm Monday, January 3, 2022

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By Mike Caton

John 13:36, Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”

When Jesus says he is going away, Peter naturally wants to know where he is going. That is only natural, Peter and the others have been with Jesus virtually 24 hours a day since Jesus called them to follow him. There have been times Jesus has sent them off on a mission or an errand of some sort, there were times Jesus snuck away from the group to pray and be alone with his Father. But the reality is, they were always together. And Peter wants to know where Jesus is going that they cannot go, v 33.

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And Jesus again tells them, they cannot follow him at this time. Again, it is natural human curiosity to want to know where Jesus is going. In all likelihood we will want to go too, that too is a natural human tendency. But the truth is, there are plenty of places that we do not need to go. We might immediately think about some bad places, and that is certainly true. But there are simply other places where we are better of not being. And that is not just true of physical places; I can think of websites, TV shows, movies, and so forth. But there are also places in our minds that we need to stay away from. It takes a great deal of commitment sometimes to avoid those places, but we know we are better off.

Jesus tells Peter this is not a bad place, just that the time is not right for the disciples to go there now. We know Jesus is speaking about his death here and all that entails; his arrest, beatings, trial, condemnation, and ultimately his crucifixion. And tradition tells us that the disciples all met the same kind of fate Jesus did for their faith in him. It is a good thing that we cannot always see where we are going and what lies ahead. If we knew the future, it would worry us to death. So instead, we need to focus on the present. We need to recognize and deal with the things we can right now, Jesus said tomorrow will worry about itself.

Father, help me stay on the right path every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.