We continue our study of the Gospel of John, picking up at verse 18 of chapter 21. We find Jesus and Peter and John walking on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They had just finished dinner. Jesus had called Peter away from the rest of the Disciples who were there. John was following behind them, but close enough to hear their conversation. Jesus had asked Peter three times if he loved Him. This was perhaps because Peter had denied Jesus three times the night Jesus was arrested, and the Lord was giving him a chance to redeem himself, and it could have been because the Lord wanted Peter to think deeply about his words. What the Lord was about to tell Peter, and ask him to do would require a life commitment. The Lord said unto Peter:
“Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said to him, “Follow Me!”
Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the Supper and had asked, “Lord who is going to betray You?” When Peter saw him he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow Me.” (John 21: 18-22)
Jesus was telling Peter some things about the future that he would experience. He told Peter that he would live to an old age. This he did, and became the Leader that Jesus knew he could be, and would be. He became that Rock that the Gospel, the Good News, streamed from. Thousands were brought the Good News from him and were saved (Acts 2 , 3, 4.) He became so powerful he raised people from the dead. He was the first Apostle to receive the news that the Gentiles would receive the Gospel, and operate in grace along with the Jews who believed when he was called to the home of Cornelius, a devout Roman Centurion. He was the first to know that all things edible were clean when blessed, and prayed over – including pork. . (Acts 9, 10 and 11.) The list goes on. He lived up to expectations from the Lord. He was the Rock the Lord knew he would be. And tradition says he was indeed crucified, but asked to be crucified upside down because he did not feel worthy to go the traditional way as Christ had done.
He followed Jesus – all the way. He was a Rock. Nothing could shake his faith. He was not afraid, He believed. He had walked with Jesus. He loved Jesus. He had denied Jesus. He came back from his fall. He lived for Jesus for the world to see. He died for Jesus for the world to see. I have no doubt he was received with great celebration in heaven when he was raised from the dead, and got home.
Let us decide to follow Jesus. Let us say yes to His, “Follow Me!” He has a wonderful journey planned out for us. He shall walk with us; His Spirit in our spirit. His Holy Spirit filling us with His unconditional love. The Victory He has won is ours to walk in. Let us follow Him. He is Good. Always? Let us share the Good News, and invite others to follow Him as well.