2nd March 2012

Follow Jesus

“But, Lord, what about this man?”
John 21:21 (NKJV)

It’s only human to be curious about other people. Sometimes, however, that curiosity can lead us away from following Jesus.

The setting for the scripture above is the third resurrection appearance of Jesus. Jesus had just explained to the disciples that they should continue to follow him just as they did before his crucifixion. In particular he had told Peter how Peter would die for the faith. Peter then noticed John following behind them as they walked, and he asked Jesus what would become of John. It seemed a harmless question, but Jesus used the opportunity to deliver a strong message that is as relevant to us now as it was to the disciples then.

There are times when we can be distracted by what others are or are not doing. Or by speculations about their past or future. Perhaps we are disturbed by their beliefs that differ from ours, or by their outspoken opinions or by their lifestyle. Or maybe we are just plain nosey and want to pry into their private life as if we have a right to know all the details.

Jesus replied to Peter’s curiosity about John, “what is that to you? You follow Me.” In other words, we should keep our personal focus on following Jesus. Don’t be side-lined into comparing ourselves with other people. Don’t be preoccupied by the soap opera of someone else’s life. It takes us away from the centrality of Jesus Christ. Peter took the words of Jesus to heart. Later he tells Christians of every generation not to “become a busybody in other people’s matters” (1 Peter 4:15).

Of course, let’s have a prayerful interest in the lives of others. Let’s rejoice with them and share their sufferings. At the same time let’s not cross the line into unhealthy distractions and damaging gossip.

Follow Jesus.

Father, help me to follow Jesus. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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