“Then Peter, turning about, sees the disciple whom Jesus loves following—which also leaned on His breast at supper and said, ‘Lord, which is he that betrays You?’ Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, ‘Lord and what shall this man do?’ Jesus said unto him, ‘If I will that He tarry till I come, what is that to you? Follow Me’.”
Our service to the Lord shouldn’t depend upon others say or do; we should serve Him simply because we love Him.
Comparison. Jealousy. Envy. Resentment.
Such is the nature of sinful flesh, especially when it comes to our relationships. By nature we either feel superior to others because of pride and look down upon them. Or, we feel inferior to them because of their ability or possessions and spend much time either trying to excel them or tear them down.
It’s interesting that Peter’s first reaction after being forgiven and re-commissioned by Christ was to look at John and ask, “But, what about him?”
Oh, dear Pilgrim, isn’t that typical? Aren’t we just like him?
Think of it:
You’ve just had an early-morning encounter with the Risen Lord. He’s sought you out even though your guilt and shame have caused you to return to your old way of life (vv.1-4). He’s cooked you breakfast and lovingly reminded you you’re still useful to Him, even though His questions are piercing and painful (vv.5-17).
But, instead of giving thanks for His Grace that “covers a multitude of sins” (I Pet. 4:8) and His Mercy that keeps you from getting what you deserve, you start “comparing notes” by looking at others and what they’re doing or not doing.
Oh how strong the arm of flesh!
Was Peter’s question rooted in resentment because he knew John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved?” Or, was he afraid everything was going to fall on him and others were going to sit around doing nothing (e.g., Martha and Mary—Lk. 10:38-42)?
We don’t know; but, it doesn’t matter, does it?
No, it really doesn’t matter
What matters is Jesus’ response to him: “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you? Follow Me.”
Or, another way to put it is “What difference does it make what I choose to do with others. What’s it to you? Stay focused, faithful and follow Me.”
Isn’t that what He’s still asking us today?
Assuredly it is.
“What’s it do you if I seemingly bless someone else more than you—especially if they’re not doing much? Follow Me. Don’t spend your time looking at others; keep your eyes on Me (Heb. 12:2). Your service to Me isn’t dependent upon them. If I’m your Lord and you love Me, then follow Me. I’ll take care of them. Just follow Me.”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated April 9, 2010