In John 21 we are given a window into a very human conversation between Peter and the resurrected Jesus. By the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus appears to some of His disciples including Peter who He restores. Peter, who had denied Jesus three times on the night he was arrested, is now restored, and given a commission by Jesus.
Towards the end of the conversation, Jesus tells Peter the kind of death he will experience. It is clear that Peter will be persecuted and suffer for the gospel. We can’t be sure of what Peter felt at this news but we are told what, or more precisely, who he sees next. It’s John.
At the sight of John, Peter turns to Jesus and asks Him this question,
“Lord, what about him?”
It’s a natural question is it not? Especially when we are faced with something difficult or painful, we want to know what is going to happen to “this person”. It can be the question of someone who feels like another is being favoured more than they are, or if they feel that they are not getting a fair go.
Jesus replied to Peter with these words, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”
What is it to you? Jesus is reminding Peter, and any of us who asks the what about him question, that we are focussed on the wrong thing. If John gets a better life or a longer life than Peter, is that really Peter’s concern?
Jesus is reminding us to stop worrying about what we don’t have, or what someone else has. It is a reminder to stop playing the game where we always compare our lives and opportunities to what others have. Rather than comparing, Jesus invites us to do something else with our lives.
Follow Him with the life and opportunities afforded you.