The Sea side post-resurrection appearance continues………Peter was distressed that Jesus questioned him 3 times about his love, obviously he forgotten he had denied Christ 3 times. Here at the Sea of Galilee Jesus insisted the answer is “Follow me!”
John 21:17-19 “He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.”19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Peter was upset at the Lord’s insistent questioning of his love, and Jesus replied with a prophecy about Peter’s life and death to come, and how he would bring glory to God. What Jesus required of Peter was obedience- ‘follow me’!
Peter then asked about John and received this rebuke from Jesus in verses 21-22. “When Peter saw him (John), he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” Jesus wanted Peter’s focus to be on Him not on the future and what would happen to others. As Jesus said, He would take care of John, but Peter needed to focus on following Him.
Let us take encouragement from this scene for today. Just like Peter, we need to focus our lives on following Jesus, being obedience to His Word and walking with Him daily. We do not need to ‘worry’ about others or question Jesus about their work and walk. We have enough to do to keep our own focus on Him. This does not mean we are not concerned about others, but Peter was just being nosy here and wanted to know what would happen to John in the future- is his life going to be better than mine? Since the Lord’s answer was always “Follow me”, that is what is crucial in our life too. Obedience to Jesus is what He desires. We are to keep our focus on Jesus and not compare our circumstances to others. Later Peter so beautifully wrote in 1 Peter 1:22-23 “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”
Let us take seriously our walk with Jesus and His command ‘Follow me!” May we let the distractions of the world fall away as we walk forward in obedience with our Savior.