When We Focus on Other People, We May Lose Sight of Our Own Calling
As Jesus wraps up his stint on earth, he spends some time with his disciples, the core group he trained for three years. They will need to carry on without him, and he wants to make sure they’re ready.
First, he must deal with Peter, who, a few days earlier, denied he even knew Jesus. Jesus is gentle but sure. To counter Peter’s three denials, Jesus has his wayward disciple give three affirmations of love. After each one, Jesus tells Peter to “Care for those who follow me.”
Then Jesus tells Peter what his future will entail. It ends with execution. But Jesus tells Peter to follow him, regardless.
Likely squirming and wanting to change the subject, Peter notices John and asks Jesus what the future holds for this disciple, “What are your plans for him?”
Jesus won’t play along. He basically says, “It doesn’t matter. You must do what I told you to do: follow me.”
It’s easy to become distracted by other people: People who seem to have more success, at least by the world’s standards; people who radiate God’s love in a way we fear we never will; or people who pray with a faith that eludes us.
Frustrated and discouraged, we may ask God, “What are your plans for them?”
To which God says, “It doesn’t matter what others do, you must follow me.” That is your path.
Look straight ahead and follow Jesus. We shouldn’t concern ourselves with what others are doing. Don’t look to the right or to the left, but look right at Jesus (Proverbs 4:25-27).
Read more in Peter’s new book, Living Water: 40 Reflections on Jesus’s Life and Love from the Gospel of John, available everywhere in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.