In the last six verses of John’s gospel is recorded a peculiar story. Peter has just proclaimed his love to Jesus emphatically three times. Jesus has told Peter to feed and take care of His lambs and sheep. Then Jesus foretells Peter’s death as a martyr and then adds, follow me. Soon after this conversation Peter notices John following them and says,”Master, what about him” [John]? It seems Peter is curious to know how John will die.
Since John 13 Peter and John have been on stage for much of the gospel. From the last supper in the upper room, to the betrayal and arrest in the garden, to the trial and resurrection of Jesus, and now the night fishing and the filled nets, Peter and John have appeared together often. And it is here where they are together for the last time.
It seems that their paths are going to diverge at this time. Peter, is going to follow Him, not only in being a shepherd to Jewish Christians, providing comfort in times of persecution, but also through dying as a martyr. John, on the other hand, will take care of Mary the Mother of Jesus, then be removed to the island of Patmos where he will write and live out his life. Two disciples. Two followers who walked, talked, ate, and listened to Jesus. Two disciples who witnessed men, women and children running to be near their Master. These two disciples witnessed the raising of Lazarus. Yet their paths would be so different.
So Peter asks Jesus about John. It seems that Peter all of a sudden has become interested in the affairs of John. Peter is curious. Maybe he has become curious because Jesus has just informed him that he would die a martyrs death, so he wants to know how John will die. Maybe Peter wants to compare his calling of ministry to John’s. It does seem that throughout the gospel story there has always been a competitive spirit among the disciples, and particularly Peter and the sons of thunder. Whatever the reason, if you think about it, the question is really not that unusual because human nature is to always be better than another.
If we are honest with ourselves, we are no different than Peter. We are interested in the affairs of others. We point out the mistakes of others to elevate ourselves. When we do this we are in danger of neglecting our calling as followers of Christ. All believers are called to ministry. What Jesus was pointing out to Peter is that his mission of ministry was much different than John’s. I believe that is why Jesus ends the conversation with Peter by saying, “Follow Me.” Trust Me Peter. I know what is best. Live out My purpose for your life.
As believers in Jesus we are called to follow Him. We are to trust Him and His calling for us in our life. God makes no mistakes in His purpose for us. Even though at times we can be discouraged or puzzled at our role in ministry. At times we may even want to switch places with someone else. However, we must never forget we are called to follow Jesus wherever He leads us, not wherever He leads the person next to us. We must constantly keep our eyes focused on Him. It is only then we can fulfill our calling. It is only then we can serve Christ not concerned with what others are doing. We must not become distracted. Time is short. May we never forget that we are all on Team Jesus.