Scripture Reading: John 21:20-23
“It is My will that he remain until I come; what is that to you? You follow Me!” (John 21:22)
Jesus spoke these words to Peter when he lost focus of Jesus’ calling upon his life. After recommissioning Peter to ministry, Jesus also told him what kind of death Peter would experience — death by crucifixion (John 21:18-19). Peter happened to see John right after Jesus told him this and he asked Jesus: “Lord, what about this man?” (v. 21). I am guessing that Peter was asking Jesus what kind of death John would face. Jesus replied, “It is My will that he remain until I come; what is that to you? You follow Me!”
We are no exactly sure what Jesus had in mind when he spoke these words to Peter about John. We do know that even the other disciples were uncertain, along with many of the other believers at that time: “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, ‘It is My will that he remain until I come…”
While we may not understand what Jesus was saying about John, His words to Peter were clear: “What is that to you? You follow Me!” I believe Jesus was saying to Peter — “Don’t get side-tracked; stay focused!” He was saying to Peter, “Don’t concern yourself with matters that aren’t important to your calling. You are to follow Me.” It was easy for Peter to get side-tracked and it is easy for us to lose our focus. Jesus’ words are forceful and clear: “What is that to you? You follow Me!”
We cannot get concerned about things that will distract us from our calling. Peter’s curiosity about John’s future was, to be quite honest, none of his business. His business was to follow Jesus. Jesus called Peter to ministry: “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17). In order to do that, Peter had to keep his eyes on Jesus.
The writer to the Hebrews summed it up best: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, LOOKING AT JESUS, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1b-2). In order to follow Jesus, we have to keep our eyes on Him. We must remained focus on our calling and not be concerned with unimportant matters. We must lay aside anything that hinders us from being faithful to our calling to be disciples of Jesus Christ.
Lord Jesus, enable me to stay focused on my calling to follow You. Let me keep my eyes on You and not be side-tracked by my curiosity about things I cannot understand.
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