What About Him, Lord?

"Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them........Peter asked Jesus, 'What about him, Lord?' Jesus replied, 'If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? You follow Me.' " John 21:20-22

 

I once heard it said that Christ doesn't love us all equally. He loves us each intensely, but differently. And there can be times when His love doesn't look like "love" at all. 

 

Peter has just had his "moment of truth" with Jesus, being probed to the very center of his being concerning his love for and devotion to Jesus. With his total surrender to the love and call of Christ, Jesus then told him something of what his life would entail....and it was not a picture that would please the flesh in any way. Suffering and death lay ahead for him. It was where his love for Christ would lead him, and it was also where Christ's love for Him would lead as well. It's doubtful whether any of Peter's pre-conceived ideas about His love looked anything like what Jesus was showing him. The picture I see here is one of Peter looking into the eyes of Christ upon hearing this news, and then looking behind him at John who is following. John, who he knows is also loved of Him. John, who has heard no such thing from Him. In his humanity, he can only ask Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" In other words, "Lord, why me and not him?" Why this path for Peter but not for John? Can you identify? Have you ever found yourself looking at your life, and the cost to you of following Him, and felt that what He asked of you was beyond anything He asked of anyone else? Have you ever asked Him, "Lord, what about him?"

The enemy loves to seduce us into living the life of comparison. Comparing our level of blessing with another's. Comparing the cost of our following Him with that of someone else. Comparing how successful we have been with the success of a friend. Our way seems, indeed is, harsh, painful, and covered in darkness. For them, the sun seems always to be shining, and everything everywhere cries out, "abundant life." In it all, we can't help but ask Him, "Lord, what about him?" The answer we receive is, like Peter's, curt and sharp. He asks us of what concern is His dealing with another to us? Our calling is to follow Him....wherever He leads. And He will always lead us to His cross. He has no other pathway.

The old hymn goes, "Though no one join me, still I will follow." The simple question of each of us is, "Would we?" Or would we linger, gazing at the life of another, comparing, and so lose sight of Him? Do we question what seems so unfair, or do we follow onward, trusting in Him. Trusting in His love for us....even when the pain seems beyond our endurance?

Peter was wrong about John. His way with the Lord would also be to the cross. Pain, suffering, loss and loneliness would also be His part. It would not be the same way as Peter's, but it would be with the same Lord. A Lord who loved them both intensely, but differently. Both Peter and John would come to look at their lives not in terms of what they lost or gained, but in terms of Who it was they followed, loved, and knew.


So must ours. Do we put our eyes upon what the life of another is, or do we place them upon the One who alone gives life? Where are we asking, "What about him, Lord?"

Blessings
Pastor O

 

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