When he had gone 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 cannot come.’A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
– John 13:31-38
In John 13, as Jesus is only days before His death, we see three kinds of people. Jesus is wise. Judas is evil. Peter is foolish. From Peter, we learn seven facts about foolish people that we can use to analyze our own lives:
- Foolish people don’t act upon what they learn. Jesus had taught Peter for three years, but there was a lot that Peter had not yet put into practice. In this way, we are all like Peter.
- Foolish people can be emotionally impetuous. Peter was passionate, and his life could look like a boat with a sail but no rudder. One minute he is devoting himself to Jesus, and the next minute he is disowning Jesus.
- Foolish people make promises but not plans. Peter promises to follow Jesus no matter what, but he has no plan to do so. When life gets complicated and difficult his lack of a plan causes him to fail at his promise.
- Foolish people cause pain unintentionally. Judas maliciously and intentionally brought harm to Jesus because he did not love Jesus. Peter, however, did love Jesus, and the harm and pain he brought to Jesus was not malicious as much as it was foolish.
- Foolish people fail when you need them most. Jesus knew that He was days from the cross and would need the emotional support of His friends more than at any point in His life. And, when Jesus needed Peter the most, Peter failed to be a dependable friend.
- Foolish people live by the power of the flesh. Wise people (like Jesus) live by the power of the Spirit, evil people (like Judas) live by the power of the demonic, and foolish people (like Peter) live by the power of the flesh.
- Foolish people can change.
Where are you wise? Where are you foolish? Where are you evil?
Who are you in close relationship with that is wise, foolish, evil?