Tuesday 29 December 2020

Bible Book:

‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!’ (vs 21-22)

John 21: 19b-25 Tuesday 29 December 2020

Psalm 117


Many scholars are of the opinion that chapter 21 of John’s Gospel was added to the text at a later date. This is based at least partly on the valedictory tone of verses 30-31, the final verses of chapter 20. (The final verses of chapter 21 are interestingly similar). So it is important to reflect on what we may learn from this ‘extra’ chapter. What is so significant here that it was felt necessary to add it to what had been considered a finished text?

Peter is clearly the main character in this story of a lakeside breakfast and the subsequent conversation. It is he who initiates the fishing trip ( John 21:3); he who leaps into the water (John 21:7); he who hauls in a heavily loaded net of fish (John 21:11); he to whom Jesus asks poignant questions about love and faithfulness (John 21:15-19).    

Jesus has challenged Peter three times, reflecting the number of times that Peter had earlier denied him (John 18:15-27). Now the issue is around what may be asked of others in terms of discipleship (John 21:21). The answer is clear and simple - ‘What is that to you? Follow me!’

Later, Paul will be at pains to emphasise to the Christians in Corinth – and elsewhere – that God gives a variety of gifts to those who follow him and that all of these are needed for the good of the Body of Christ, the Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). The real challenge is that we do not look yearningly at the gifts others may have, or to what others have been called, but that we faithfully follow where Jesus is leading us. That is what brings glory to God!

Points to Ponder:

  • Can you recall times when you have been tempted to look over your shoulder and see what others are called to, rather than focusing on where your calling may be?
  • Think of your gifts and ask yourself if you are using them to the full. Maybe talk with a friend about this.
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