Loving Lord, tame my unruly desires and help me make my thoughts holy. I know you are both powerful and empowering.
Read John 21:20–25
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectPray that you will be open to any challenges that emerge from today’s reading.
The rumor that John would not die had gone viral. John feels the need to explain what Jesus actually said. It’s good to be concerned and to show love and support for others, but it is possible for this to become an unhealthy interest. The danger is, as it was for Peter, that we become more interested in others’ relationship with God than our own (v 21).
Our destiny and that of our fellow Christians is in Jesus‘ hands. Our priority is to follow him and not to allow ourselves to be distracted by speculation about others. ‘Following’ is a key theme in John’s Gospel (and the others) and is one way of understanding our relationship with Jesus (see John 1:35–40; 10:1–6). It suggests staying close, learning from, imitating and obeying. It also suggests, as Peter will discover (vs 18,19), a life of self-denial and sacrifice (Mark 8:34). There is no other way to live the Christian life.
Following also brings the desire to help others to follow. John has already stated his purpose (John 20:30,31). He signs off with the thought that so much more could have been written (v 25). What he has written is true and sufficient to enable others to believe.
As we come to the end of these readings focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus, let’s renew our commitment to him, whatever the cost.
Lord, I want a Christ-possessed life so I can live effectively and powerfully for You. Clean out, search out, root out all that is not in line with Your Kingdom.
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