Matthew 26:30-35 (ESV)
30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
Jesus and his disciples finished their Passover meal together. Traditionally, the Jewish people would sing from Psalm 115 to Psalm 118 while celebrating the Passover. These four Psalms are known as the Hallel Psalms. The Hebrew word hallel means “a song of praise.” Jesus and his disciples probably sang directly from these four Psalms, praising God, before they moved on to the Mount of Olives. Our Lord Jesus worshipped God right before he prayerfully prepared to experience the greatest trial presented to any human in history. After they departed, Jesus warned and prophesied to his disciples that they would fall away from him on that very night. At this point, the disciples still didn’t think anything unusual was happening. Jesus clearly knew otherwise. “Fall away” didn’t mean they would or could lose their salvation or become apostates, but it did mean they would have a severe lapse of faith, acting out of character due to fear. In verse 31, Jesus quotes Zechariah, letting the disciples know that all of this was right in line with God’s predetermined plan. Peter affirmed to Jesus that he would never fall away. He was totally loyal to Christ! After Peter’s declaration, all the disciples chimed in and said the same thing (v. 35).
As the text reveals, Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen. But the disciples were clueless. Jesus let Peter know that he would fall away and even went on to tell Peter how he would fall away! In the same way that Jesus knew what Peter was going to do, God knows exactly what all of us would do in any and every situation, real or hypothetical. God knows how you would respond if you got that new car or home you have wanted, how you would behave if you were the one promoted at work, what you would do if that relationship panned out the way you want, or how things will unfold if he gives a “yes” to that prayer request you have been making. God already knows what you would do and how things would turn out in these situations and more. Like Peter, you may think you know what you would do in a given circumstance, but God knows the truth. Pray today that he would only give you what you can handle. God often says “no” because he clearly knows far more about us than we know about ourselves.