Monday

‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!' (v. 22)

John 21:19b-25 Monday 27 December 2021

Psalm 117

Background

This is the very end of John's Gospel and Peter and Jesus are having a conversation about discipleship. There is perhaps a sniff of jealousy on Peter's part. He wanted everyone to be treated in the same way. The response of Jesus is straightforward – follow me and take responsibility for yourself and don’t worry over the way other people respond to me.

 It feels odd to be jumping from the start of the account of the life of Jesus to the end in such a short time. We need to remember that the gospels are written to share the good news of Jesus and encourage people to become disciples and follow Jesus. The account of his birth and the account of his death and resurrection need to be woven together for us to catch the best glimpse we can of the working of the grace of God, and to see the most persuasive appeal for our own choice to follow Jesus.

During the church year we focus on different aspects of our Christian teaching, but we never take them in isolation. Always there is the wider context; put simply the cradle and the Cross are always there. They inform our thoughts and belief as we ponder and reflect on our faith and patterns of discipleship. It may seem disconcerting to jump from the start to the end of Jesus' life in a day, but for us to know who we are following and why we are following him, it has to be.

 

To Ponder:

  • We live in a world where competition is seen as good and inevitable. Does following Jesus become competitive?
  •  Do we think some follow Jesus more or better than others do?
  •  How comfortable do we feel with the admonition of Jesus that we should focus only on our own story and not concern ourselves with the way other people follow Jesus?
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