Scripture: Jeremiah 45-47, Psalm 105, John 21
John 21:21-22 When Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus answered him, “If I want him to live until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”
“What about him?” We’ve all asked that question. We want to know that we’re getting a fair shake compared to the next guy. Jesus had just told Peter how he was going to die. “What about him?”
Jesus’ answer is, “What’s it to you? That’s none of your business. You follow Me!”
John reports this incident to clear up a rumor that had grown up around it—a rumor that John would never die. John tells the story, identifies the rumor and then clarifies what Jesus said: He didn’t say that John would never die; He said, “If I want him to live until I come, what’s that to you?”
A couple things.
First, John’s purpose in telling the story is to dispel the rumor. This is another small reminder that the gospel writers were telling a true story, that they cared about facts and truth. It would have been easy for John to let this slide—it enhanced his reputation—but he took pains to correct it. This should give us confidence in the gospel writers. They were telling a true story, not a legend, not a fable, not a rumor.
Second, Jesus makes it clear that rather than worrying about someone else’s destiny or role, we are to focus on our own. Jesus told Peter not to worry about John, but to do what he had been called to do: Follow Me. And we might add, “Take care of my sheep.”
It is so easy to play the comparison game—it’s a trap. The only person I have any control over is myself. The only calling I can fulfill is my own. Stop comparing yourself to anyone, and simply do what Jesus has called you to do. Be happy being you—you’re the only you in the world, and you can do things no one else can do. Focus on that, rather than comparing yourself unfavorably to another.
Next time you think, “What about him/her?”, just remind yourself of Jesus’ words:
“None of your beeswax. Follow Me!”
Prayer: Lord, help me today do what You give me to do. Help me to follow You and not compare myself to anyone else.