Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:22)
In one of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances, He was alone on the shore where He had first called His fishermen. After the miraculous catch of Galilean fish, Simon Peter jumped out of the boat and hurried to the shore to be the first one with Jesus. You can almost feel the atmosphere, with Simon Peter wanting to make things completely right.
Following his denial, Simon Peter was longing to hear fresh words from the Lord. The dialogue moves forward with Jesus telling Simon Peter that (in his older years) Simon Peter would be led where he did not want to go. Redirecting the focus to John, the youngest disciple, Simon asked about John. Then, he heard the words, “What is that to you?”
Sometimes, we find ourselves perplexed about what appears to be an unfair blessing on others, as compared to the blessing that we receive from God. We either don’t like the timing, circumstances or even the direction. We think if someone is getting a better deal from God, we are left with the shorter straw. Have you ever been there? Let’s face it: We don’t like to admit it when our flesh is offended, especially when dealing with God’s providence. Somehow, we think we deserve more, the better place or the greater recognition and privilege. Unless false humility has blinded you to the real you, we all wrestle with this…so admit it.
Where do we go when this happens? Nowhere is the correct answer…just stay with Jesus on the shore. Remember, the denying disciple also heard, “You must follow me.” No qualifiers allowed. No commas with exceptions are offered. It is essential that we must follow Christ. The focus turns from what we think we deserve to wherever He leads. The old song with the lyrics, “Wherever He leads, I’ll go…” is never more important than here at this moment. We must simply follow Christ, regardless of the outcome. Follow on!