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“You’re not able”

(A1) So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he [Judas who gave Jesus away] immediately came out. And it was night. 
(B1) When he had come out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you are not able to come.’ 
(C) A new commandment I give to you, that you love-in-action one another: just as I have loved-in-action you, you also are to love-in-action one another. By this all people will know that you are my followers if you have love-in-action for one another.” 
(B2) Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you are not able to follow me now, but you will follow later.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why am I not able to follow you now? I will put down my soul for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you put down your soul for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times. 
(A2) Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms.” John 13: 30 – 14: 1 
 
Have you ever tried reading something in the wrong order? The classic example of this is someone who reads the final pages of a crime novel before starting at the beginning.

But, sometimes, it’s good to start in the middle and work outwards. The event described in bold above by John (who was actually there) took place in AD 30 in Jerusalem. It’s part of John’s written record of which Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” is the painting. 
 
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‘Great men never know they are great; small men never know they are small.’ (Anon.) 
In this instance, the middle (C) is the words of Jesus to his followers (excluding Judas who gave him away): “A new commandment I give to you, that you love-in-action one another: just as I have loved-in-action you, you also are to love-in-action one another. By this all people will know that you are my followers if you have love-in-action for one another.”

In a few hours Jesus would put down his soul for his followers on the cross – he would love-in-action them – to his own death. In turn he commanded them to love-in-action one another. 

Just before (C) Jesus had spelt out to them (B1) the fact that his cross was the most glorious thing about him and about God his Father. Yes, his glorious cross… Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you are not able to come.’ They were not able to go there. 

But just after (C) Peter objects and claims (B2) that he does have the ability to go there. Peter said to him, “Lord, why am I not able to follow you now? I will put down my soul for you.” Peter claims to have the ability to lay down his soul for Jesus – to do exactly what Jesus said he himself would do for his followers. In (B2) Jesus tells Peter the truth in another way. Jesus answered, “Will you put down your soul for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times."

In fact, not only was Peter unable to lay down his soul for Jesus but also he would deny, on three occasions before morning broke, that he knew Jesus at all in any way – and one of those with curses.

Now look at (A1) and (A2). In (A1) Judas, having received a morsel of bread dipped in wine given to him by Jesus, comes out of the last supper determined to give Jesus away. And it was night. Yes, it’s night for Judas. He gave Jesus away.

But in (A2) it’s the opposite. Peter and the other followers of Jesus hear him speaking. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms.” Yes, it’s daylight. They won't give him away.

 
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‘The great of this world are those who simply loved God more than others did.’ (A W Tozer, pastor and author, 1897-1963) 
Jesus was saying something like this. “You, Peter, are completely unable – in fact, you’re in severely minus territory. So are you all. Don’t be troubled by that. Believe in me. I’m going to see to things for you all – from start to finish.”
 
Sinner Syvret

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