These men truly loved their master. They had left brother and sister and mother and father to follow him. He had called them and they had responded to his call, and they had stayed with him for three years. But their devotion to Christ did not change the fact that they were weak men. This is not to say that they were men of little spiritual stature or little faith, but to simply state that they were men. And men are weak by nature.
The disciples had just finished singing a hymn when Jesus led them to the Mount of Olives. They eagerly followed him, as they had done for the previous three years of their lives. But this time around, things were different. This night was different. This would be their last night together. And what an unforgettable night it turned out to be. This night would end with them deserting and denying their master. A night that none of them would have anticipated.
As Jesus led the way he knew that his most trusted followers were yet to fully understand what laid ahead of him. They did not know that death awaited him, and they probably couldn’t have imagined the kind of death that awaited him. So he tells them, “You will 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’” (Matt. 26:35).
Peter, sensing that something terrible was soon to befall Jesus, declares his unflinching devotion to his master. “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away,” he boldly declares. But Jesus knew Peter better than he knew himself, and he informs Peter that this night he would deny his master.