TEXT: John 21:17-23:
17. He [Jesus] saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
18. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
20. Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21. Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
22. Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
23. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
George MacDonald said, “Doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”
There are many people in America today scratching their heads saying to themselves if Barack Obama (with a name that sounds like Osama) and if Donald Trump can be president, why can’t I be president? Well, because it’s not God’s will for you to be president.
After Jesus publicly restored Peter to the ministry and commanded him to “Feed my sheep,” there must have been a deathly silence around the seaside fire where the rest of the disciples were eating breakfast. What does one say after witnessing such an emotionally-charged scene? The exchange between Peter and Jesus was like a private moment that the other disciples would have been embarrassed to witness. When the moment is over, Peter looks around realizing that everyone else was watching and listening.
We do not know why Peter asks this question, but it’s possible that he was trying to shift attention away from himself. He asks of John, “Lord, and what shall this man do?” ‘You’ve told me that I’m going to die. What about this man?’ It is a natural thing to wonder about others when you are going through or are about to go through something distressing. ‘What about this person? It looks like they never have any troubles. Am I the only one who has to suffer?’ Jesus’ response to Peter is rather sharp, almost a rebuke. He says, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “Peter, having been informed about God’s plan for his life, naturally wondered what the future held for his friend John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. Jesus sharply rebuked Peter for being curious about God’s will for another’s life: What is that to you? You must follow Me. Some disciples can be easily distracted by unnecessary questions about God’s secret will; as a result they neglect God’s plainly revealed will. God’s plans for Christians vary and His reasons are not often made known. Peter was to commit himself to God’s plain commands to him.”
God has given each of His children plain commands. Some of these commands, such as those included in the Bible, are universal. Others are specific to each individual. Often, when we see someone not following God’s universal commands or not following a similar specific command to the one that we are following, we are tempted to pause and wonder, ‘What about them? Why aren’t they going through what I’m going through? It doesn’t look like they are following God, yet they are being blessed.’
In such instances, Jesus’ response to us is the same, ‘What is that to thee? Follow thou me.’ The only Christian walk that you can control is your own. There is no use in wasting time fretting over what others are doing or are not doing. You do what God has called you to do and let God take care of everyone else.
Horatius Bonar wrote:
Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.
I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.
God has chosen a path for each of us. What remains to be seen is whether we will walk in that path. You can begin walking in God’s path for you by trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. Here is how you can receive Him into your heart and life today:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.