Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father…
I. THE MIXTURE OF EVIL IN THE EXPERIENCE OF THE GOOD. Peter on the whole was a good man, and his language here expresses something that was really good, just that sense of Christ's greatness and his own unworthiness as appears in Luke 5:8. "Thy condescension overwhelms me." But associated with this is Peter's want of reflection, of ready acquiescence and his characteristic impulsiveness. He should have felt such unbounded confidence in Christ as to submit without resistance or reluctance. This shows the necessity —
1. For self-scrutiny. "Who can understand his errors."
2. For Divine cleansing, "Cleanse thou me from secret faults."
3. The advantages of death. With the good all imperfections are left this side of Jordan. Yonder is unmixed good.
II. THE DANGER OF A RIGHT FEELING LEADING TO EVIL. Peter's humility was right, but it led him to oppose Christ. A sense of our own unworthiness and of God's greatness, right in itself, may lead to wrong results.
1. To the rejection of Christ's mediation. How can the Maker of the universe have sent His Son to die for this little world of rebellious worms.
2. To the rejection of God's personal providence. God is too great and man too little for such a thing.
3. To the rejection of Christian consolation.
III. THE RAPIDITY WITH WHICH THE SOUL CAN PASS INTO OPPOSITE SPIRITUAL MOODS (vers. 7, 8). This power indicates —
1. The greatness of human nature. We know of no other creature that can pass through such changes. All irrational creatures move in a rut, which they cannot leave. Man has power to defy time and space, to live in the future, and to revel in the distant.
2. The necessity for reflection. Without this men will ever be at the mercy of external influences. Thoughtless men of impulse are like feathers on the wind — the sport of circumstances.
IV. THE DEPENDENCE OF PERFECTION IN CHARACTER UPON AN INCREASE OF DIVINE KNOWLEDGE (vers. 7, 12-14).
Parallel VersesKJV: Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
WEB: Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.