Google+ 04/14/13 Attention All Christians, Follow Me!

John 21:20-23

 

Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—

The one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 

Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die.

But that isn’t what Jesus said at all.

He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” 

 

Were you starting to feel good about Peter's obedience and understanding in part one and two of our devotion?  If you haven't read the first two parts of this three-part devotion, you might want to read those first, before you finish today's devotion.  Things seemed to be going well.  Jesus had questioned Peter three times about Peter's love for Him.  Peter responded each time, explaining that he did love Jesus.  Jesus then explained to Peter, and the other six disciples present, that when they were younger in Christ, they did what they wanted, dressed themselves, and went where they wanted.  Jesus warns them that all their "youthful bliss" is about to change, as they continue His work on earth.  Jesus warns all of us not to be "dressed" by others and led to places we don't want to go.  Everyone seems to receive the message, and we are about to settle back into one of those "happy-ever-after" moments.  Then Peter speaks!  Usually in Peter's life, that has meant big trouble!  He says nothing about his own relationship with Jesus.  Not a word about what Jesus has just spoken.  Peter doesn't issue a "thank you" or a "Praise God."  Yes, Peter questions Jesus's motives!  What was Peter thinking?  Peter wants to know about John.  He literally asks Jesus, "What about him?"  Jesus responds to Peter with the truth, in love, but the truth!  Jesus says, "Peter, mind your own business.  I can do with John whatever I choose.  You concentrate on Peter and follow me."  Because Jesus tells Peter that He can keep John alive as long as He wants, the rumor spreads that John will never die.  As our Scripture says, that is not what Jesus said.  On the other hand, John outlives all the other disciples and writes his gospel in about 85 A. D., when all the other disciples are dead!!!  Is it important how long John lived?  Is it important that many people in Jesus's time were gossiping about the fact that John would never die?  Neither of these matters.  What matters is Jesus told Peter, "Follow me."  Listen, Jesus is telling us the same thing.  Every time you question God about someone else, hear God say this phrase to you, out loud!  All that is necessary is that we individually follow God.  Even after Jesus questions Peter to make sure he loves Him, and Peter says "yes" three times, Peter can't help himself from interfering in someone else's business.  Jesus says to us and to Peter, "Not your job!"  We need to listen.  Let God be God.  Other people, and their walk with Christ, are not our concern.  Once we have presented the Word of God to others, we should encourage and disciple them.  God will correct them.  God will execute the necessary discipline in their Christian lives.  We are not to judge.  Hear Jesus say loudly and without any hesitation, "Attention all Christians, follow me!"