By The Sea 4: What Is That To You?
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?" Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "But Lord, what about this man?"
Jesus said to him, "If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me."
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?"
This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.
Jesus’ three “Do you love me?” questions to Peter are, I believe, three different questions; or at least variations designed to draw him in to the right place and restore Peter, letting him see that — as the rock on which Jesus was to build His church — Jesus would continue to be with him in all things.
Jesus first two questions were God-centred, but the third was formed as one of brotherly love — coming along side Peter — in a sense putting His arm around the disciple. And then comes what could be seen as an awkward moment, but which is instructive, as John draws his gospel to its conclusion. “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter says, followed by “But Lord, what about this man?”.
Peter is still discomfited by what He sees as being singled out for interrogation. “Why me? What about him?” seems to be his attitude, allowing Jesus to say the equivalent of “Mind your own business, Peter.” It is important that we do not compare ourselves to others — the ‘pointing the finger’ attitude to divert attention from our own failings.
Jesus makes it clear that He loves everyone in the same way; that He is with us in an individual relationship — Christ within you, the hope of glory — as well as corporately. It is not for me to stand in judgement on another. I do not know — nor do I need to know — the work that The Lord is doing in my brother or sister’s life. Jesus has an intimate relationship with each of us.
John concludes with the statement that his gospel is merely a glimpse at the life of Jesus on this Earth. Much more could be said, and no doubt there is much that has been forgotten. His purpose has been to lay out Jesus’ ministry as the true Son of God, that we may know and understand the truth of His coming amongst us. That we may know and understand Him.
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS
"Judge not, that you be not judged.
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use,
it will be measured back to you.
And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye,
but do not consider the plank in your own eye?“
HOLY SPIRIT, WE WELCOME YOU — St Michael’s Singers
(written by Chris Bowater)
PRAYER requires OBEDIENCE
IN OUR LORD's life there was no divorce between the ideal and the real; He never gave Himself continually to prayer. Beware of the tendency that makes you wish that God would pretend you are someone special. It is a childish make-believe, standing on spiritual tiptoe to look as big as God — others can do this and that, but I must give myself to prayer. The great secret of the obedient life of faith is that the real conditions of bodily life are transfigured by real communion with God.
[from ‘Not Knowing Whither’ by Oswald Chambers]
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GEORGE and GILL STEWART