Don’t turn.

John 21: 20-23

“Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumour spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

 

It seems in the early years of the Church people saw John (let’s presume) as a hero. He was the disciple most loved by Jesus. More than that it appeared that Jesus said he wouldn’t die! Of course that’s not what Jesus meant. He was just trying to tell Peter to mind his own business.

Peter and John had walked closely together. They were Jesus’ closest friends. They had seen the transfiguration on the mountain, they were around the table of the last meal, they had been closest to Jesus in the garden of tears, they had been together in the courtyard of denial and they were there witnessing Peter’s reinstatement. It would be only natural for Peter to ask if Jesus had anything to say to John.

Since lockdown it has been difficult to compare ourselves with others in the Church. We can’t look around the building to see if our attendance is higher than the other person. We can’t judge our engagement in worship compared to others. We are in our homes, on our own with Jesus, following Him with no one else watching, just Him. That’s how it should be. We have been stripped back. Still we have social media to compare. Who’s got the best programme, the most likes, the biggest and the best? Who has the smartest answers? What about them? What will happen to those people God?

“None of your business”

“Follow me.”

And that is enough.

Be careful who you turn to. Peter turned away from Jesus and saw John. Stop comparing with others. Don’t turn your eyes from Jesus. This is your race no one else’s. He has a path set for you which is yours and yours alone.

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