THE HOLY BIBLE – 19 ….Then he said to Peter, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw the follower Jesus loved very much walking behind them. (This was the follower who had leaned against Jesus at the supper and said, “Lord, who is it that will hand you over?”) 21 When Peter saw him behind them, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “Maybe I want him to live until I come. That should not matter to you. You follow me!” ~ John 21:19b-22 ~ Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)
THOUGHTS: All of our lives we are trained to think about the other person and not be selfish, but I believe you will note in this scripture today that there comes a time in life where Jesus calls for our undivided attention to what He is saying directly to us. In this chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus had just questioned Peter about HIS relation – HIS love for the Master. Jesus got so personal with that question that He asked it of Peter 3 times. When we repeat a question like that, usually we are trying to make sure that we have the person’s undivided attention, and by the second or third time we ask it, the person is really questioning to himself if he truly understood the question, or if the hearer is doubting his answer. You might remember that this is the same Peter who will deny Jesus three times while Jesus hangs on the cross, even though Peter told Jesus ahead of time that he would be with Him right up the very bitter end. As for how we might normally handle this type of question, I believe it all depends on where we are at and in whose presence. At church, where we are surrounded by a crowd of fellow Christians. I bet we would easily respond in the affirmative to Jesus, as we listen for a loud ‘Amen’ from those around us! But how would our response differ if we were asked the same question by Jesus at work; or at the football stadium where folk all around us are drinking and partying? Would we be as quick to respond affirmatively? However, this was not the only sobering thought of this scripture. As indicated already, imagine if the question Jesus asked Peter was asked of us individually in a crowd. Can’t you see us looking around for support, before we respond? “Come on church, let’s respond collectively”, we might say. Imagine Jesus stopping your parade and saying “wait a minute young man/lady, I am looking for a personal response from you only. May I hear your heart’s response, in spite of what you feel the rest of the church/co-workers/theme park crowd might say collectively with you”. Friends, this is exactly what Jesus did to Peter, for He told me that He was more concerned that he (Peter) would follow Him, even if no one else did. What about you friend? If you were singled out like that, how would you respond to Jesus? Are you at that place in your relationship with Jesus that you will respond, based on your heart, and not what you think the crowd would like to hear? Friend, I would encourage you to join me in solidifying our relationship with the Lord. This could be the day that He decides to take one or all of us home, and I don’t know about you, but I really want to know that Jesus was pleased with my life while here on this earth. That I stood firm in my faith and in my witness for Him. I pray that this would also be the desire of each reader.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You stayed true to Your mission right up to Your time on the cross. Like us, I believe that Peter stayed true to you, but he and us, we are so easily swayed in our decision making, that the crowd (Satan) may easily find a ‘soft spot’ and distract our thoughts and commitment to You. Lord, we are so weak. But praise to Your glorious name, You are so strong. So Lord, we come to the solid ‘Rock’ today pleading for Your strength in our commitment; our boldness; and our witness – regardless of the environment or crowd that we might be in. Please help us to remain strong. For those reading this who have not made a personal decision to accept You as their Lord and Savior, I ask for clarity in their minds so that they might recognize the priority of accepting You as Lord, before following the crowd to ask a total stranger for help. Please impact the lives of Your children today, so that we might stand firm in our faith. May our transformed lives be so sincere, that the lives of others will be transformed when they ‘rub shoulders’ with one of Yours today. For I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!