I love the story in John 21 of how Jesus recommissioned Peter. After Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times, Jesus comes in and asks Peter, “Do you love me?” three times. The whole scene is amazing how the recommissioning of Peter looked almost exactly like his initial call. With the same type of miracle of the fish thrown in for dramatic effect. It was a special moment of connection and relationship between Peter and Jesus. But even still Peter has his eyes on someone else…
Jesus prophesied in vs. 18 how Peter was going to die. There were no surprises, Peter was going to be a martyr. In essence Jesus is telling Peter, “Follow me to your death.” And it is easy to pass over the magnitude of this moment for Peter. If Jesus said something like that to me I have to be honest…I might question the whole ‘follow me’ invitation.
Peter obviously agrees, but notices his buddy John standing nearby. And it appears that Peter is looking for some comfort in the fact that others will have a tough road too. So he asks Jesus, “Lord, what about John?”
vs 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
And it seems that we do that a lot. We are constantly comparing ourselves to other Christians. We take comfort in knowing that their road is going to be at least as tough as ours. Well Lord…are they going to be teased for being a Christian like I am. “What is that to you? You follow me.”
Are they going to have to experience tremendous loss and heartache like I did? “What is that to you? You follow me.”
How come they have so much money and are so successful and I can’t even scrounge up enough money to pay for medicine? “What is that to you? You follow me.”
Of course the list could go on and on and on…but I think we get the point. It doesn’t seem that Jesus is super concerned with every single Christian having the same trials, experiences, blessings, opportunities, or crosses to bear. He just wants us to follow him. Do some have an easier road? Sure…but Jesus wants us to keep our eyes, not on others paths…he doesn’t even want us to focus on our own path. All he says is, “Follow me.”