Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” John 21:20a, 21
I’d love to have seen the look in Peter’s eye when he turned to find John, his disciple bud, following him and Jesus. I have to wonder if John was right on their heels, close enough to hear Peter and Jesus’ conversation? Or did he keep a safe distance, perhaps concerned that Jesus would whip around and say, “On second thought, you, too, must follow Me…to the cross.”
Jesus had already told Peter that he would be led where he didn’t want to go, indicating the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God (John 21:18-19). Understandably, Peter wanted to know what the end of days would look like for other devoted followers. Not because Peter particularly cared for John’s well-being. I believe he begged to know if Jesus had a grueling death planned for anyone else or was it just for him.
I’ve got the ‘Lord, what about him’ mentality, too, the one where I think others have it better. It tempts me to despise that which God has chosen for me to experience and turns my attention to the other guy.
Lord, what about that guy whose political candidate won?
Lord, what about that guy whose stock values increased while mine plummeted?
Lord, what about that guy whose biopsy came back negative, while mine…
Lord, what about that guy whose kids are all devoted Christ followers? With full ride scholarships?
Lord, what about that guy who inherited millions though he’s not worked a day in his life?
So, yeah, Lord. What about that guy?
Jesus answered, “What is that to you? You must follow Me.” (vs 21)
I dunno, but I’m thinking He wore the look of a thundercloud on His face when He said it.
Do I measure hardships-or even the blessings-God has given me against what others have or don’t have? Or do I receive His gifts freely, drinking the cup of sweetness with grace and the cup of bitterness in communion with Him? (O. Chambers)
The irony is that somewhere out there is a guy who wonders why I have it so good because he, like me, sees my life through a lens smudged with ingratitude. There’s nothing quite so disturbing as learning that someone has created a false reality about how wonderful they think I have it at my end.
Listen, if I do have it wonderful it’s because I’ve chosen to view my circumstances through God’s eyes. By Divine design, He put me where I am and called me to follow Him in and through it.
I expect the Lord desires me to ask, “Lord, what about him?” with the heart of the Father, with a genuine concern for the other guy’s well-being. For his salvation.
Lord, what about that guy who needs a meal or shelter?
Lord, what about that guy who’s begging for a miracle to heal his marriage?
Lord, what about that guy who’s losing his battle with cancer?
Lord, what about that guy who’se refusing Your forgiveness on the cross? Because that’s not good.
So, yeah, Lord, what about him?
The way to the cross.
The way to life.
And maybe that guy will follow along, too.