27 "You will all fall away," Jesus told them, "for it is written: " 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.' 28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." 29 Peter declared, "Even if all fall away, I will not." 30 "Truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times." 31 But Peter insisted emphatically, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." And all the others said the same.
Thoughts: This event was so engraved in the thoughts of the early Christians that it became a saying, "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" (I Cor. 10:12). We are precariously and dangerously on the edge of the place of faith. We are on the balance beam of faith with only the net of God's grace beneath us. Peter thought he was beyond falling, but he was not. The greatest, strongest Christian needs to watch over their faith each moment.
Prayer: Lord, I dare not boast in my own ability to be faithful, but plead with you to give me the strength today to be strong and faithful for you.
John Calvin abridged: "Strike the shepherd" (quote from Zech 13:7) Zechariah refers to the deprivation of leaders (shepherds) during the time of Anitochus. Yet it is a general principle that the Lord is able to gather his sheep even without good shepherds. Jesus was the ultimate shepherd, but God's grace showed in that even after his death his dispersed sheep were gathered.
God does not cease to recognize as his sheep those who are driven out and scattered in every direction for a time. There are times when the government or the Church is bereft of leaders, but God, in order to prevent the minds of the godly from being overwhelmed with despaire by the extreme distresses at hand, declares that despite the confusion and miserable dispersion, the grace of God will be victorious.