Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's None Of Your Business...

Jesus said… "I tell you [Peter] the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went where ever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don't want to go." Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, "Follow me." Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved-the one who had leaned on Jesus during supper and asked, "Lord, who will betray you?" Peter asked Jesus, "What about him him, Lord?" Jesus replied, "If I want him [John] to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you follow me." ~ John 21:18-22

In the passage above, Jesus has just restored Peter. You probably know the story. In a sequence of three confrontations, Peter had denied he knew Jesus. In a sequence of three questions, Jesus wiped away those offenses, and the bitter feelings of guilt the passionate fisherman carried. Peter was restored and recommissioned.

Peter is a reminder that for every disciple some things remain the same: we can no longer do as we please, Jesus will reset the trajectory of our lives, and the people we encounter--be they godly or ungodly--are part of God's sovereignty involved in our trajectory.

But not everything is the same. The dialogue between Jesus and Peter reminds us that the trajectory of the lives of all disciples, ancient or present, varies in extreme degrees from person-to-person. Fact is, they may vary wildly. According to the lore of church tradition, Peter would end up in the cruel and merciless clutches of the ungodly. But being dragged by the rough hands of persecutors would not mean he was no longer in God's hands. Bad people, with bad intentions, doing bad things, would actually lead to God being glorified in Peter's life. Peter died as a relatively young man pinned to a cross--an inverted crucifixion. He considered himself unworthy of dying as his Savior did.

Yet, as the words of Jesus' restoration still hung in the air, impetuous Peter quickly rallied and fired a question back at Jesus. "What about John? What will his life look like?" Like the lives of Peter and John, each disciples journey may radically contrast. According to the lore of church tradition, John lived a long, though not easy life, well into his nineties (comparable to the epically long lifetimes during Noah's era).

We, too, can be more concerned with God's Providence for another believer, rather than what God has planned for us. We will never glorify God by coveting the lives of others. When we make that our business, we can expect to hear, "It's none of your business."

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