“When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?” (John 21:21 ESV)
Really, Peter? That’s the question you want to ask. In John chapter 21, Jesus reveals Himself to the disciples for the third time since rising from the dead. And with the Lord’s intervention, the men haul in a large catch of fish from the sea. When they arrive on the shore, Jesus invites them to breakfast.
After breakfast, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him; perhaps in response to Peter’s thrice denial before the crucifixion. Each time Peter responds, “You know that I love You.” Jesus then goes on to foretell Peter’s death and makes mention of his hands being stretched out. Yikes!
Later, upon Jesus’ invitation, the two walk away from the crowd and John, another disciple, follows. Peter then asks the question, “Lord, what about this man?” Why is he worried about John or how John’s going to die? Peter, you are talking to God, take a deep breath and then beg for mercy. How could he be so fixated on a rival for Christ’s affection? We’re talking life or death here.
“Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (Verse 22)
But … can’t we just have a little friendly discussion about who’s going to die and how? And what exactly do you mean by “What is that to you?” It’s everything to me; we’re all in this together, right? Why can’t I thrust the focus onto a fellow believer? I’d much rather talk about him.
“You follow me!” A little simplistic, don’t you think. I have comparisons to make, offences to take up. Lord, You make it sound way easier than it really is. How can I possibly just worry about myself and how I’m going to follow you? Maybe if you gave me a few more details about what you’re actually looking for …
“You follow me!”