Scripture: John 21:20-25 (alternate reading: John 15:9-17)
20 Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?" 22 Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!" 23 The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?" 24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things which 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.
Meditation: Why do we often compare ourselves with others? Do we envy those who seem more fortunate than ourselves? Why did Peter question Jesus about John's future? Jesus had predicted that Peter was to suffer and die as a martyr for his faith. What would John's fate be? Jesus seems to indicate that John would live a long life - in fact he outlived all the other apostles.
While Peter and John were both called as disciples of Jesus, each was given a different task or function. When Peter questions John's role, Jesus retorts: "What is that to you? Follow me!" Peter's given task was to "shepherd the sheep of Christ", and in the end to die for Jesus Christ. John's role was preeminently to witness to Christ and to give his testimony to the Gospel. John lived to long age and wrote the Gospel as his testimony to the reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
John ends his Gospel with an astonishing remark: "Human books cannot exhaust the person and work of Jesus Christ." His power is inexhaustible, his grace is limitless, his wisdom unfathomable, his triumphs are innumerable and his love is unquenchable. We can never say enough of the power, majesty and glory which belongs to him alone. Do you witness to others the joy of the Gospel?
"May the power of your love, Lord Christ, fiery and sweet as honey, so absorb our hearts as to withdraw them from all that is under heaven. Grant that we may be ready to die for love of your love, as you died for love of our love." (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)
4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven; his eyes
behold, his eyelids test, the children of men.
5 The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates him that loves violence.
6 On the wicked he will rain coals of fire and brimstone; a scorching wind shall
be the portion of their cup.
7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Peter follows, John remains, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"The Lord either said what he said to Peter about his martyrdom,
or he said it about the gospel of John. As regards the martyrdom
and this 'Follow me,' [he means] suffer for me, suffer what I did.
Because Christ was crucified, Peter too was crucified... while
John experienced none of this. That is what is meant by, 'It is
thus that I wish him to remain.' Let him fall asleep without
wounds, without torment, and wait for me. You, Peter, 'Follow me,'
suffer what I did. Thatís one way these words can be explained...
"As regards the Gospel of John, though, this is what I think is meant: that Peter wrote about the Lord, others too wrote; but their writing was more concerned with the Lordís humanity... But while there is something about the divinity of Christ in Peter's letters, in John's gospel it is very much to the fore... He soared above the clouds and soared above the stars, soared above the angels, soared above every creature and arrived at the Word through which all things were made." (excerpt from Sermon 253.5.5)
Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use - please cite:
copyright (c) 2016 Servants of the Word, source: www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager
quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of
the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by
the Division of Christian Education of the National
Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of
America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Citation references for quotes from the writings of the
early church fathers can be found here.
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