Jesus has just affirmed His forgiveness of Peter and given him a ministry of shepherding His very own sheep but Peter wants to know about John…what about this man?
Peter and John go way back. They are like best friends. They are a team. Peter relies on John and John relies on him. They both are following Jesus, to be sure, but together they go, in tandem. Peter thinks of the question and John gets the answer. They both race to the tomb. John stops, Peter goes in. John recognizes Jesus, Peter jumps out of the boat. John has taken in Jesus’ mother. Peter has failed Jesus and needed forgiveness. For all his self-confidence and bluster Peter wants to know about John. Surely he’ll be assigned with me in this new job? Lord, do you see how much he loves You? You will honor him too, right? (I totally get this. I don’t think Peter is jealous or wondering if John will get something better. I think Peter believes he needs John. And I think Peter believes John needs him.)
Jesus is pointed in His response. “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (Is Jesus telling him to be a lone ranger and mind his own business? No, I think he is telling him, don’t be distracted. Who you need is Me. Peter you follow me and John will follow me and we are all going to end up going together. Trust Me not only for yourself but for the one you care about deeply – your brother John.)
It’s interesting to consider what John might have been thinking. He is watching this all take place. He surely knows Peter as well as Peter knows him. And you know what else John knows and has known for a good while? ….John knows Jesus loves him. He is the disciple whom Jesus loved. And what is more, when Peter was walking with Jesus, he looked back and saw John following them.
John was not intimated by Peter’s assignment; he didn’t feel left out; he didn’t seem worried. John was following Jesus. (This is how I want my relationships to work. I need the inner circle of life friends God has given me. I need the diversity of our gifts. But my security or ability to fulfill my unique calling is not found them. It is found only when I follow Jesus. We need to be all pointing each other to Jesus. The most perfect companionships are found in the company of the ones who are also first following Him.)
It is from this place of utter security the disciple Jesus loved bears witness by writing these things and he affirms – all these things about Jesus are true.
Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. It would be impossible to write down everything that Jesus did. The Gospel of John actually ends abruptly compared to the other three Gospels but John’s intention was not to write it all. His reason was that anyone who heard his testimony might believe:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
God has made the ultimate sacrifice to make it possible for us to Follow Him.
Love One Another but Follow Jesus
About the World?
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:30-31