Resurrected Service - Clarity of Service - John 21:20-22
May 12, 2022, 9:00 AM



20. Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is going to betray you?")  

21  When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" 22  Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me."  


Peter had been told that he would die a martyr.  Peter saw his fellow disciple, John, and asked Jesus about what will happen to him. Jesus responded with hard but true words. Basically he was saying “that is none of your business. You are to follow me with the call and plan I have for you.” He couldn’t be clearer, could He?   


The general call of God is clear in Scriptures and for all believers, but that individual path may lead in entirely different directions and circumstances.


Too often we like to judge our work and our acts based on what others are doing. I sure do. I feel the most discouraged when I see the ways others serve the Lord and I feel so inferior compared to their gifts, abilities, zeal, and successes. Such introspection has often tempted me to quit and get out of the way so someone more talented and effective can take my place in the service of the Lord. 


Certainly we can learn from others, but the temptation is to compare and compete instead of develop, encourage, and applaud what God is doing in and through us..   


Notice that Jesus acknowledges His sovereign control over the disciples. “If I want John to remain awhile what is that to you?” He has the power to make John remain if that is Jesus’ will. He is the designer of our plans. He is God. Our paths have been prepared for us as well as our death. Peter was to be the shepherd of Israel. Paul was to be the missionary to the Gentiles. John was to be His witness, an author, and reveal His heavenly vision to pass on the churches.   


A few are called to die and others may suffer physically, emotionally, or socially, because of their commitment to Christ. Some will experience financial hardship for being a Christian. If this causes us to envy others because God is giving them what seems to be a less costly ride, we need to listen carefully to Jesus word to Peter. “What is that to you? You follow me.”  


Most of the disciples were led to the path of martyrdom. Most other believers lived very quiet lives, raised families, and were faithful to their jobs, churches, and communities. Our calls are the same today. Do whatever God asks, with faithfulness and bless the Lord, but be open to change if a new path is placed before you.    


Come and follow is the command to us all, as it has been throughout the ages. The details will be unique for each one of us.


Application: If you sense God is calling you to do something ask: “Is it Biblical and in unity with love for Christ and one another?”  


Prayer:  Lord, I am often like Peter looking at the individual call of others, and compare and contrast them with mine.   Give me the wisdom to see that clarity of service is following Jesus alone and letting Him lead.