During the 40 days after the resurrection, Jesus made many appearances to various people in a host of different places. He continued to prove Himself through the words of the prophets, encourage the faint-hearted and instruct His disciples.
While reading through all of this activity, the Holy Spirit drew my heart to nine words at the end of John: “…what is that to you? You must follow me.” (Jn 21:22) Jesus had just had the infamous Q&A session with Peter: “Do you love me?”, “Yes”, “Then feed my sheep”. This is followed by a foreshadowing as to how Peter would eventually die. Peter then looked around, saw John, and questioned the Savior’s plans for him. Jesus’ reply (in today’s jargon) was blunt. “What’s it to ya?”So easily, our eyes stray and become distracted by someone else’s story. When we lose our focus, we often begin to play the comparison game. We question the roles that we have been given and if not careful, seeds of jealousy, inferiority, complaint, etc. begin to take root.
Comparison is a poison that will stunt or even destroy growth in the life of a Jesus Follower. It is the exact opposite of contentment and resting. Jesus taught that one cannot serve both God and money because of the way the spiritual heart is created. Equally as true is the fact that no one can be caught in comparison and be contented at the same time. It simply does not work.Jesus continues His chat with Peter: “…what is that to you? You must follow me.” He immediately puts blinders onto Peter’s wandering eyes and refocuses them on his own story. Do not worry about anyone else, Peter. You must follow me. Had Peter allowed himself to continue down the path of comparison, he never would have become the leader of what would come to be known as the church. Had a seed of complaint or disdain taken root, perhaps Peter would have returned to the life of a solitary fisherman…having completely missed out on a life of serving the Messiah.
This same instruction is for us, just as much as it was for Peter. Do you find yourself wishing you could be the keynote speaker for once? You must follow me. Does your heart get that twinge of jealousy when others head overseas on a missions trip while you stay home? You must follow me.Perhaps it’s time to pull out those blinders, fix them on your heart and refocus your sights. Maybe you will never be asked to speak to a large group. But what about your Great Uncle Joe who is waiting for someone, anyone, to stop in for an unrushed, quiet chat in room 207? You must follow me. No missions trip is on your horizon, but what about that little boy next door whose dad is no longer in the picture? I’ll bet he’d love to toss the baseball around! You must follow me.
Open your eyes, focus your sights and be amazed at the story that God is weaving in and through you!Sarah Bennor