Follow Me!

There is a passage in the Bible (John 21:15-25) where we witness what it means to follow Jesus.  Peter and some of his disciple mates went fishing, but failed to catch anything.  As they are returning to shore, Jesus calls out to them to try the other side of the boat and an amazing haul of fish is the reward.  If you’re interested, I wrote about this encounter in a post last week entitled “Breakfast on the Beach”.

We pick up the story as the disciples finish their fish barbecue breakfast and Jesus has a significant conversation with Peter.  He seems to be quizzing Peter about his affections, not once but three times in all.  At the conclusion of each affirmation Jesus tasks Peter with an aspect of caring for the flock of followers.

There are many lessons to be learned from this discourse but I love the fact that Jesus singles out Peter for this restorative conversation.  I am certain that Peter would be the last to forgive himself for his betrayal of our Lord and I am encouraged that this doesn’t seem to matter to Jesus.  He wants Peter to recognise his importance in the mission that lays before them all now.

After this lovely moment of forgiveness Jesus says two words to Peter at the end of verse 19.  Simply “Follow me”.  What everything in our Christian endeavours boils down to is following Jesus.  Nothing else matters but placing our foot in the imprint of His own step directly in front of us as He leads us where He wants us to go.

This is a message for all of us to reflect upon and take a moment to digest, but straight away Peter blurts out something that highlights a common trap we all fall into.  Verse 21.  Have a look at it, and consider how many times you have asked a variation of this.  “What about them?”

Too many times in life we can miss amazing moments we experience because we are too busy checking out what other people have or are doing.  What is it that motivates this behaviour?  Is it a fear of missing out or of injustice?  Is it motivated by something else?  A sense of entitlement, or insecurity about our worth?  We somehow believe that others are being treated not just differently to us, but better.

How does Jesus handle this with Peter?  He doesn’t address Peter’s question about the other person, but cuts to the heart of the matter with, “… what is that to you?  You must follow me.”  He says that all Peter needed to worry about was the task assigned to him, not anyone else.  That is such a releasing mantra to live by.  Focus on what is being asked of you, end of story.

One more thing I would like you to notice.  It was as Peter turned his eyes off Jesus that he notices the other disciple and wants to know what is required of them.  When we spend time looking around, our eyes are removed from Jesus.  How true is that?  Keeping our eyes on Him gives us the perspective we need to navigate life.

My prayer for you is that today you will be able to hear Jesus say, “Follow me” and be able to do that well and without head turning.

Be blessed.

 

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