There is a passage in the Bible (John 21) where Jesus is talking with Peter about if he really loves Him (Jesus). Many of us are familiar of how Jesus asked Peter three times if He really loved Him with a command behind it each time to feed or take care of His sheep. This was after Jesus had risen from the dead and the “third” time Jesus had appeared to the disciples. It is somewhat reminiscent of the time in John 13:38 when Jesus asked Peter, “Will you really lay down your life for me?” He then goes on to tell Peter how he will disown Him three times before the rooster crows, I’m sure to Peter’s disbelief. We all know that Jesus was prophesying that very moment. But over in John 21 it appears Peter has gained a little wisdom by his statement of, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus goes on to prophecy once again to Peter of his future demise of crucifixion and says that he still must follow Him. At this point Peter does what so many of us do. In verse 21 he sees John, who was called the beloved one, and he says, “Lord, what about him?” This verse always intrigues me because it is so representative of our human nature. It seems we’re always taunted to say, “But what about him Lord?” Maybe it’s, “Well Lord why didn’t this happen to them?” or “Why did they get away with that?” or “Why do they get all those great things without any sacrifice?” Have you ever said anything like this to the Lord? Maybe if you didn’t say it you thought it (I know I have at some time in my walk) The point is that we and we alone are accountable to Him for ourselves only and when we want to remind Him about someone else we can trust that His answer to us will be what He told Peter in Verse 22 which was, “If I want him to remain alive (or have that ministry or write that book–my paraphrase) until I return what is that to you? You must follow me. “
This is something that came to me today as I have begun to look more inward because I truly want to hear what He is saying to me and not what I think He is saying or what I want to hear. He has given us all gifts to be used to glorify him and the kingdom of God. We can’t be envious of the gift or calling of others or self-conscious or even sometimes fearful of ours. If it is someone else’s gift to feed us as Jesus asked Peter to do then I pray we would wisely discern where that feeding comes from so we might mature more in the gifts He has given us individually. We are all His sheep and some are His sheep and His shepherds. I guess what I’m trying to articulate, and probably not too well, is we need to be able to hear the Lord if He says “What is that to you?” because it is these words that will cause us to refocus on what it is that He’s asking us to do individually that will build the kingdom corporately.
Lord, help us to refocus on our own individual gifts and callings and to be fed by those of others so that Your kingdom will increase here on earth. In Jesus’ Name. Amen