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Monday July 30 – Jesus and the beloved apostle

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them… When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” – John 21:20-23

Scripture reading: Psalm 23

Peter had just heard what consequences his following of the Lord Jesus could have. Then, when he saw John, the beloved disciple of the Lord, he wondered what the future would be for him. Would he have to experience the same suffering in his service to the Lord? The Lord Jesus tells him that this should be of no concern to him. Imagine that the Lord Jesus would tell him that John’s way would be much easier, or that John will stay alive till Jesus’ return… What would Peter’s reaction be to such a message? Would he think, “Why such a hard service for me, while he won’t need to die for the faith?” Isn’t that a common human reaction when people compare their own path of life through trouble with the easy way of others?

The Lord Jesus clearly indicates to Peter that this is none of his business! Jesus determines each one’s way. It’s a good thing we don’t know what the future will bring. Besides, come what may, the Lord will lead and guide and strengthen us anyway! “You follow me!” Jesus’ reply regarding John has been interpreted in various ways, even in the understanding that he wouldn’t die, but live till Christ’s return. That’s not what Jesus said though; if he would have wanted him to live until He returns, that would not be Peter’s business. Peter will have to go and accept his own way and leave the way of others to the Lord. Come what may, just go your way in the Lord; you’re in His hand!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for Christ’s continued work of gathering His Church. Pray for His office bearers. Pray that His people may accept His way with their life, entrusting themselves to His will by faith.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. William den Hollander (Sr.) is minister-emeritus of the Bethel Canadian Reformed Church of Toronto.


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