John 21:18

Verily, verily, I say unto you, When you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you would: but when you shall be old, you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall dress you, and carry you where you would not.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
That is, shall be crucified. And to come to this end, Another shall gird you, and carry you where you would not. First He said what would come to pass, secondly, how it would come to pass. For it was not when crucified, but when about to be crucified, that he was led where he would not. He wished to be released from the body, and be with Christ; but, if it were possible, he wished to attain to eternal life without the pains of death; to which he went against his will, but conquered by the force of his will, and triumphing over the human feeling, so natural a one, that even old age could not deprive Peter of it. But whatever be the pain of death, it ought to be conquered by the strength of love for Him, Who being our life, voluntarily also underwent death for us. For if there is no pain in death, or very little, the glory of martyrdom would not be great. He who denied and loved, died in perfect love for Him, for Whom he had promised to die with wrong haste. It was necessary that Christ ...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young, &c, whither thou wouldst not, i.e, by thy natural will of sense, or feeling. For by the rational will Peter desired this above all things. S. Chrysostom says, Christ predicts his martyrdom, showing him in what way and how much he ought to love Christ and His sheep, even unto His cross. When thou wast young: by this is shown, says S. Chrysostom, that Peter was neither a young, nor an old, but a perfect man. For such a one it behoved the Pontiff and prince of the Apostles to be, that his age might win him authority, and yet be apt and strong for apostolic labours. The meaning Isaiah , When thou wast young, and hadst bodily strength, thou wast free, and didst rise from thy couch, and clothedst thyself, and walkedst at thine own pleasure whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, at the time when men seek rest and ease, thou shalt by no means rest, but shalt have harder labours. For they shall bind thee, and bring thee to the...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
With great kindness and tenderness our Lord Jesus Christ testifies to the fervour of the love which His disciple bore unto Him, and the high honour of his piety and endurance, tried to the uttermost. For He tells him clearly what would be the issue of his apostleship, and what would be the end of his life. For He foretold unto him, that one would take him to a place whither he would not go; that is, in which his persecutors, or those who condemned him to the penalty of death, had fixed the cross. He says, that the place of his crucifixion would be a place whither Peter would not go. For no one of the Saints suffers death of his own free choice. But though death be bitter, and though it come upon them sorely against their will, yet do they who yearn for the glory that God gives disdain earthly life. Therefore Christ foretold, that the blessed Peter would be taken to a place to die in, sore displeasing and hateful unto him. But he would never have attained to so glorious a death, nor hav...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands . signifying by what death he should glorify God; that is, that a cross should be the instrument of his death and martyrdom. Whither thou wouldst not: which is no more than to say, that a violent death is against the natural inclination of any man, even though he be ever so willing, and disposed to undergo it. (Witham) By this is meant the martyrdom of St. Peter, which took place thirty-four years after this. He was first cast into prison, and then led out to punishment as Christ had foretold him. He stretched out his arms to be chained, and again he stretched them out, when he was crucified; for he died on the cross, as the ancients assure us. (Calmet) ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Our Lord having made Peter declare his love, informs him of his future martyrdom; an intimation to us how we should love: Verily, verily, I say to you, When you were young, you girded yourself, and walked where you would. He reminds him of his former life, because, whereas in worldly matters a young man has powers, an old man none; in spiritual things, on the contrary, virtue is brighter, manliness stronger, in old age; age is no hindrance to grace. Peter had all along desired to share Christ’s dangers; so Christ tells him, Be of good cheer; I will fulfill your desire in such a way, that what you has not suffered when young, you shall suffer when old: But when you are old. Whence it appears, that he was then neither ayoung nor an old man, but in the prime of life. He says, Where you would not, with reference to the natural reluctance of the soul to be separated from the body; an instinct implanted by God to prevent men putting an end to themselves. Then raising the subject, the Evangel...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And yet this he did will, and desired; on which account also He has revealed it to him. For since Peter had continually said, I will lay down my life for You John 13:37, and, Though I should die with You, yet will I not deny You Matthew 26:35: He has given him back his desire. What then is the, Whither you will not? He speaks of natural feeling, and the necessity of the flesh, and that the soul is unwillingly torn away from the body. So that even though the will were firm, yet still even then nature would be found in fault. For no one lays aside the body without feeling, God, as I said before, having suitably ordained this, that violent deaths might not be many. For if, as things are, the devil has been able to effect this, and has led ten thousand to precipices and pits; had not the soul felt such a desire for the body, the many would have rushed to this under any common discouragement. The, whither you will not, is then the expression of one signifying natural feeling. But how af...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
We read the lives of the Caesars: At Rome Nero was the first who stained with blood the rising faith. Then is Peter girt by another,

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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