“When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’  Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remains until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!’”

John 21:21-22

“I am as good as anyone else!” Such a statement is to justify where we are in life. Deep inside we wonder if we can do better. We feel embarrassed about our efforts to improve. Our strategy becomes a “pointing of the finger” in an effort to distract the focus on ourselves.

The context of this scripture is that Peter reverted to his old ways. He felt like a failure and left alone, Peter would have never made an impact in the kingdom of God. Like Peter, we have made promises to be faithful only to fail miserably. Sometimes our slip is private. Many times our unfaithfulness is public knowledge. Always, our failure hurts personally.

When Jesus called Peter to a time of fellowship, the elephant in the room was Peter’s performance the night Jesus was arrested. Three times Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?”

Three times Peter answers affirmingly. With each response, the Lord responds with a command for Peter to focus on the flock of believers that will come. One can imagine Peter was uncomfortable with the confrontation. But the goal of Jesus was to restore Peter to his calling and purpose in the Kingdom of God. The meeting ended with the command of Jesus, “Follow Me!”

Later Peter attempted to place the focus on the disciple John. He seemed distant. In what seemed to be an effort to take the focus off himself, Peter asked, “Lord, what about him?” Throughout the ministry of Jesus, there was a constant comparison among the disciples claiming who was the greatest disciple. Peter thought John needed a little pep talk too! If nothing else, maybe Jesus could focus on John and give Peter a break.

But, Jesus response to Peter is one of the strongest statements He ever made to any disciple. Jesus said to Peter, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” The lesson Peter needed was that he was not measured by others. Peter is measured by the Lord’s expectation of his life committed to his calling.

If you are in the business of focusing on the failure of others to cover you lack of commitment, you might want to reconsider your strategy. If everyone you know is a hypocrite or a half-committed follower, the fact still remains, Jesus expects you to be faithful.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and you will not forget why you are here. Commit yourself to what you know Jesus asks and do it. Each of us should hear Jesus say, “Do you love me?” If you say “yes,” the next statement you will hear from the Lord is your assignment for the day. Don’t be concerned about the assignment of others. Be faithful and one day you will hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Meet you calling and the Lord will be pleased with what you have become.

 

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