It’s been a joy for me to read the Bible. I learn more and more as I read and re-read passages of Scripture. I don’t always get what is being said the first or second time, and oftentimes certain Scripture just go past me without even registering in my spirit. I read it again and again and forget it immediately each time. It wasn’t my time to understand. Then one day, I’ll read that same scripture and God reveals something in it to me! Something profound and important to my situation at that time. That’s a part of what is so wonderful about the Word of God. There is so much there, that in 10 lifetimes you couldn’t get all the revelation therein.
There also are scriptures that jump out at me immediately. They stand out to me and leave me pondering their meaning. I have no idea of what the scripture could mean, but it is showing itself to me over and over. One such scripture is in the book of John Chapter 21, verse 22. In it Jesus says this:
“If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:22, New Standard version.
When one is a student of the scriptures, we remember what our Sunday School Instructor tells us which is this: Context, context, context! We have to read the scriptures before and those scriptures after, to try to grab ahold of the context of what is being said. Often we have to read the chapters before and after as well. So in this example the scriptures before state this:
John 21:15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.” 20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at 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 him?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”
So there it is. It appears that Jesus is saying, Mind Your Business and Leave Mine Alone! Just Follow Me. Maybe Jesus is saying that it’s not important to concern ourselves with the calling or the plans God has for another person. Which confuses me a little, because aren’t we to care about each other and exhort each other? Aren’t we to teach and preach the gospel? Paul was very concerned with those who were in his charge, and he agonized over them night and day, that they would remain on the path of righteousness.
Maybe Jesus was just admonishing Peter for being a bit contentious. Maybe Peter felt that his fate of death at the hands of others was unfair, and wanted to know that John was going to suffer something similar? Peter’s emotions were a bit riled up by the questioning that Jesus had given him in the verses 15 through 17.
Whatever the scripture means, I don’t know for sure but I would love some imput from you all on what YOU think the Lord was trying to get across to Peter!