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.” (John 21:20-22 NIV)
Peter had failed Jesus miserably. While Jesus was on trial for His life Peter denied that he even knew Him. That makes the story of Jesus finding Peter after His resurrection even more special to me. Peter had gone back to fishing, but while he was fishing he saw Jesus standing on the shore. Peter made his way to Jesus as fast as he could.
Eventually, Jesus took Peter for a walk and He asked him three times, “Peter, do you love Me?” Three times Peter had denied Jesus, now three times Jesus confirms Peter’s love for Him. The third time Peter said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus then told Peter that one day he would suffer a painful death, but Jesus said, “Follow me!”
John must have been spying, listening in as Jesus spoke to Peter, because Peter turns and points John out as he asks, “What about him?” Jesus said, “If I want him to remain until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” I know that I am called to follow Jesus, to be like Jesus, but I see Peter, rather than Jesus, when I look in the mirror. Jesus calls me to follow Him. Period. No questions asked. Yet, I am so prone to compare my life to the lives of others. “Lord, what about him? What about her?” When am I going to get a break? Why do they have all the luck?
Peter lost sight of the One who had sought him out even though he had denied that even knew Jesus. He focused on the hard road ahead rather than on the One who would walk with him down that hard road. I’m finding that when I focus on the grace and mercy that God has lavished on me, I am less overwhelmed by the trials and hardships of this life and less likely to compare my life to the lives of others. God has reinstated me, forgiven me, confirmed His love for me time and time again. My life is not to be measured by the lives of those around me. My life is to be lived with single-minded devotion to the One who has sought me out.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will give me blinders to prevent me from comparing myself to those around me so that I might fix my eyes, my heart, and my thoughts on You, the One speaks to me and says, “Follow Me!”