How would you feel if Jesus told you how you were going to die?
While we probably would not normally think a description of our death would accompany our process of being restored as a Christian, in this case it is.
Jesus looks at Peter and exactly describes the manner of his death.
For a man who has failed Jesus, this is exactly what Peter needs to hear, even if he doesn’t realize it now. In fact, in this moment, grasping the jist of what Jesus is telling him – even if not directly spoken – Peter turns around to ask about John, who is walking along with them and listening to what Jesus is saying to Peter.
This is indeed a strange scene, but again, what Jesus is accomplishing through this restoration process is exactly what is necessary for Peter right now. And right now Peter needs to hear about his death.
You see, Peter has been all over the map as a follower of Jesus Christ. He’s been up, he’s been down, and he’s been in he’s been out. He’s even been way out – immediately following his denial(s) of even knowing Christ, much less following him. The Bible tells us Peter was a completely broken man following his denial of Christ. He wept. He probably considered himself un-useful to Christ for the rest of his life. A loser. Worse than a loser. (Especially when compared to his claim he would never deny or depart from Christ even if everyone else did – his failure in being THE one to do exactly that was crushing.)
But Jesus, without even mentioning Peter’s failure, deals with it directly. (A failure in those who follow Christ is probably something we should expect. It is not necessarily disqualifying of all future ministry.) In effect, what Jesus tells Peter without saying it is, “Peter, for the rest of your life, you will never deny Me again. You will never fail Me again. Peter, you will prove faithful from here on out even down to the end of your life.”
The death Jesus informs Peter he will die is a dreadful one. Terrible. Since we know what happened to Peter historically, we know Jesus is speaking to Peter about the fact he will be crucified just as Jesus was crucified. This manner of persecution and death will be so terrible and horrifying it may be expected by all, (and by Peter himself,) that the LAST thing Peter could possibly ever do would be to glorify God by the courage he is to display in his death.