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Oh wonders! Did you know we’re on the last few verses of John? Time has passed well I think hasn’t it? Anyways, last time Jesus asked Peter three times about his love for him. Today we’ll finish off the book of John.
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
What Scripture Says
Peter has heard that he will die for the Lord. That’s got to be startling. In the aftermath of that news Peter sees the disciple that Jesus loved following them. This same disciple had leaned up against Jesus during their last supper and had asked “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” But that isn’t the point of this conversation, the point is that Peter was wondering what would happen to this particular disciple.
Jesus’ response was “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
Jesus pointed Peter back to where his focus should be. Following him.
Of course, people being who they are, and how easily we assume ideas, spread the idea that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is NOT what Jesus had said. He said “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”
The disciple that Jesus loved is the same disciple who bore witness about everything here. He wrote the book of John. Ergo we know the disciple that Jesus loved was John. John’s testimony is known to be true.
Jesus did a whole lot of other things. John tells us that if all of them were written down, the world could not hold the books written.
I know I supposed that Peter might have been shocked/startled at Jesus’ revelation that Peter would die for him. I wonder though, if he was feeling a bit “put out about it too”. This wondering is based in Peter’s questioning Jesus about the fate of John.
Why it was important to bring up the conversation at the last supper. Scripture was never written blindly.
Pondering this passage
I love how Jesus pointed Peter back to himself. I am reminded of how often I will profess my love for the Lord. I’ll have a purpose in mind again, and then it happens. I get distracted. That’s, I think, what happened to Peter. He sees this other disciple and knows that Jesus loves him. Jesus just told Peter that he would die for him.
Peter had been wounded by Jesus asking him three times about his love for him. Gives him three tasks to do. Then tells Peter he’ll die. So a wounded, startled Peter sees John and wonders… what will happen with John?
In that wondering he took his eyes off his own professed love. He loves Jesus. Wants to do whatever Jesus asks of him. But here in this moment, he is distracted.
Happens to me. And I’ll beat a dollar it happens to you too. You know you love the Lord, but “oh look, it’s shiney”! Those moments happen to all of us. Doesn’t mean you don’t love him. And did you notice that Jesus didn’t say “Peter, do you love me?” He didn’t. He in essence said “Never you mind him, focus on your task. FOLLOW ME.”
Like when a momma in training her boys gives one son a task, and then to the “what about Joe?” Says never you mind, Go sweep the floor like I asked.
Let’s try not to get distracted, but rather to just do as the Lord commands. Follow him. Not minding how he asks others to do the same deed. Our focus needs to be on what the Lord has given for us to do.