|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:36-38 What Christ had said concerning brotherly love, Peter overlooked, but spoke of that about which Christ kept them ignorant. It is common to be more eager to know about secret things, which belong to God only, than about things revealed, which belong to us and our children; to be more desirous to have our curiosity gratified, than our consciences directed; to know what is done in heaven, than what we may do to get thither. How soon discourse as to what is plain and edifying is dropped, while a doubtful dispute runs on into endless strife of words! We are apt to take it amiss to be told we cannot do this and the other, whereas, without Christ we can do nothing. Christ knows us better than we know ourselves, and has many ways of discovering those to themselves, whom he loves, and he will hide pride from them. May we endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, to love one another with a pure heart fervently, and to walk humbly with our God.
Verse 37. - Peter saith unto him, Why cannot I follow thee even now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Compare the language of Thomas (John 11:16), "Let us go, that we may die with him." Peter thought himself ready to die for his Lord, before his Lord had died for him. He who had seen; the glory of the Transfiguration, and the majesty of Christ's power, and the depth of an uttermost love, was ready, as he thought, for any sacrifice, for the most complete self abandonment; but he miscalculated his strength of will and the tenacity of his purpose. "Quid in animo ejus esset cupiditatis videbat, quid virium non videbat" (Augustine). St. Paul, long before St. John made this conversation known, must have gathered from the known teaching of Jesus the same sublime subtle truth, that it is possible to dare a martyr's death, and yet to be without true love (1 Corinthians 13:1, 2, 3).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Peter said unto him,.... Not understanding Christ's answer, and being dissatisfied with it, inquires:
Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? is the place inaccessible? are the difficulties in the way to it insuperable? the roughness of the road, or the dangers of it, will not discourage me; I am ready to go through the greatest dangers and difficulties, to follow thee: yea,
I will lay down my life for thy sake; whatever enemies I should meet with in, following thee, would not dismay me; I would readily hazard my life, and cheerfully lay it down in defence of thee.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. why not … now? I will lay down my life for thy sake—He seems now to see that it was death Christ referred to as what would sever Him from them, but is not staggered at following Him thither. Jesus answered,
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