Wednesday, July 13, 2011
"What is That to You?"
As the disciples were gathered with Jesus having breakfast together, the Lord began to inquire of Peter if he loved Him. He did this three times. Each time, Peter answered in the affirmative and Jesus replied with a word about feeding and tending the sheep. During this conversation, Peter raised a question about another disciple: "Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said 'Lord who is it that is going to betray you?' When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, 'Lord what about this man?' Jesus said to him, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!' So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?'" (John 21:20-23)
Whenever the Lord was asked a question, I love the way He answered so directly. Peter was concerned about what would happen to his fellow disciple. In a loving, yet firm way, Jesus replied that it was none of his business. Instead, it would be according to the will of the Lord what would become of him. As for Peter, he had one command, "You follow Me."
More than any other statement made in the New Testament, this one command resonates with me. Far too often, we are so busy worrying about our neighbor that we do not look to our own spiritual growth. Our call is to follow the Lord wherever He leads us. We are to bloom where He has planted us, and use the gifts He has given to us. Unfortunately, many of us get caught up with trying to micromanage everyone around us. They should be like us, and think like us; otherwise, we tend to be uncomfortable around them. However, God has made each of us unique. No two people will ever have the same plan or call from God.
I am so grateful that at the end of his Gospel John wrote about this incident. God put it there for our benefit so that we could avoid this pitfall which keeps us from hearing His instructions to us. May we keep our eyes on our own walk and not on everyone else's walk in Christ. Then, we will be more content, and effective for our Lord and look a lot less like a little child. Selah!
I welcome your thoughts here. Please feel free to leave your insights and words of encouragement.