Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
After Jesus appeared to the fishing disciples, gave them some tips (queue miraculous amount of fish), and had breakfast with the boys, He and Peter took a walk. It was there that Jesus gave Peter the call to “Feed my sheep,” and his plan for Peter’s life. The Lord asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?”
Lord… You know I love you!
Jesus then foretells of Peter’s future: following Christ even unto to death.
It would be great if the story ends right there- a grand, inspirational line by Jesus. But hey, it’s Peter, and he’s a lot like us. So…
He turns around, sees John, and is like, “Hey, what about him?” I wonder if Peter was thinking Come on, Jesus you just predicted my death for following you, how’s it gonna turn out for John?
Jesus turned and said, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
So often I am Peter in my walk with Christ; it is so easy to look over your shoulder at the walks of other believers and say, “Lord what about them?” They’re so…successful…talented…outgoing…spiritual… (insert any other comparison here). I feel like this is also a major struggle in the 21st century Church- we see the Lord working in other churches in a particular way, and desire that for ourselves. So we replicate it ourselves. Now, I’m not calling out a healthy desire to see the Lord move in a church or our lives, but often our desire is not for the walk, but the outward aspects of the walk.
For instance, a few years ago I saw a number of friends taking big steps of faith (moving, starting in a ministry, what-have-you) and I really had that “fear-of-missing out” feeling, as I knew that the Lord had me in a waiting season as I went to school on the coast. Looking back, it seems silly to think that the “train of God’s plan” could have a deadline to take off. The Lord had a plan for me, and is continuing to unfold it for me. Coveting the plan God has for someone else is severely detrimental, because when we do so, we aren’t actually coveting a closeness with God, but the outward aspects of another’s walk. Often we want the excitement, the recognition, or whatever other things we see in other people’s walks. I’ve noticed that churches do the same thing. One church starts a new program or ministry and before you know it, everyone else needs to keep up. You guys have lights? Well we have a premium sound system. Well we have… the list goes on. We get caught up on the observable, extraneous parts of modern church life that we forget the main focus.
As a Christian, I need to remember to not get so caught up in forwarding the “kingdom” I forget about the King. I love that Jesus wasn’t angry with Peter- he knows how easily distracted we are. But like Peter, he reminds me, it doesn’t matter what he has in store for John. He wants me to follow him not external aspects of walking with him. The cool thing is that it is a freeing and joyful experience when we quit looking at other peoples’ walks and worrying about our own worldly (or even dare I say “churchly”) success, and get our eyes on Jesus.
I’ve learned it’s not so much about the “walk” of Christianity, but who we’re walking with.
You follow me.
Lord please show me to be satisfied with whatever you have for me, regardless of whether that’s successful to the rest of the world. Please keep my eyes focused on you, and teach me to follow you unconditionally.
I want to follow you.