But he spoke the more vehemently, If I should die with you, I will not deny you in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
I. We may learn from this transaction NOT TO BE TOO FORWARD IN OUR PROFESSIONS, or too confident in our own strength, lest confidence should at last increase the guilt and shame of failure; and in the event of nonperformance, our professions be turned to our reproach. The chief of the apostles mistook the firmness of his own spirit. In the day of peace it is easy to form good resolutions, and to be confident that we shall perform them. To resolve in private and act in public are very different things, requiring very different degrees of firmness, both in exerting the powers of the understanding and in regulating the affections of the heart. Rash resolutions are foolish, and rash vows cannot be innocent. Yet our weakness is itself the decisive proof that vows and resolutions ought to be made. But let them be made as reason and duty require — deliberately not ostentatiously; not so much to be heard as to be kept; not so much to man as to God.
II. TO HOPE THE BEST, AND TO DEPEND THE MOST UPON THOSE WHOSE TEMPERS ARE NOT SO WARM AND FORWARD, BUT MILD, AND COOL, AND FIRM. In St. John we find no forward professions, no hasty declarations of invincible spirit. He was firm and faithful, but meek and unoffending. His zeal united gentleness. Zeal should be with moderation. The passions must not rule the conduct. The feelings of a good man are ruled by his religion. "Every thought should be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." Without such guidance feeling is bold, forward, and capricious, liable to error, and will involve us in sin; but conviction and principle are steady and permanent; truth and right are forever the same.
III. THAT IF WE BE SURPRISED INTO ANY FAILURE IN OUR DUTY WE MAY BE FORGIVEN UPON REPENTANCE AND REFORMATION. But this great privilege must not be allowed to relax our care, or encourage our presumption. St. Peter delayed his repentance only till he knew his fault. Hand-in-hand with conviction came contrition.
(W. Barrow, LL. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.