John 21:20-23 – “Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” 23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?” NKJV
I have often read this passage and been reminded of how deeply our egos are involved in everything we do and how deeply the quest for ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ runs in our human psyche. Here I believe it is evidenced in Peter’s questions of the Lord regarding John. Jesus had informed Peter about Peter’s life and death and as humans will do, Peter wanted to know ‘What about John? If this is my lot; what about him?’
Some have suggested that Jesus pampered John but rather I believe it had more to do with John’s spirit and attitude. God had a work and ministry that required a certain mentality, attitude, and disposition and John embodied all the requirements. He could be silent when silence was required and vocal when speaking up was required somewhat unlike Peter who was often rash with his mouth and impatient. Yet, Peter appears to not just have an interest in finding out what John was going to face but wanted to be sure that John was not getting a better deal in his human view.
I’ve watched ministers, church people, and people, in general, fret over what someone else has either in material possessions or gifts of God. The idea of ‘fairness’ by human definition is foreign to Scripture. God never said that life would be ‘fair’, but He did promise to be ‘just’. Life may hand you some terrible lemons and require you to endure horrific situations to survive but if you look at what others are or are not going through or have you will fall into Deception and Despair and lose heart.
Jesus said it clearly and we should carefully heed His words, “If I will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” Peter twisted Jesus’ words and told the others that John would not die but that is not what Jesus said. Jesus was turning the focus from ‘comparison’ and ‘human fairness’ to His Will and Purpose! What God chooses to use you for has nothing to do with His purpose for me. I will rejoice in God’s using you and refuse to focus on my lack or allow any sense of being short-changed to come into my thinking.
We have a world full of people who are Demanding their ‘fair share’ based on comparisons to others. There is little consideration to what God’s purpose might be only a sense of entitlement and I want mine. That is foreign to the biblical description of the Christian walk so Stop It! Stop worrying about what someone else has or does take stock of what God wants to do and is doing in your life. Your life is the one you are responsible for and will give account for.
May God be with you as you go through your day!