You may remember how Jesus graciously forgives and recommissions Peter on the beach beside the Sea of Galilee following His resurrection. Jesus goes on to indicate to Peter the kind of death he would suffer by which he would glorify God (John 21v18,19). Jesus appears to be suggesting that Peter will be crucified and it is traditionally held that he asked to be crucified upside down as he considered himself unworthy to die in the same way as Jesus.
Peter is immediately curious, however, as to the future fate of John. Jesus’ answer is basically “mind your own business; you must follow Me”.
What an answer – and what a Godly principle! Many of us suffer from the sin of ‘busybodyness’ – or meddling in the business of others. This is not, however, a modern phenomenon particularly linked to the worldwide explosion of social media. In fact, Peter of all people warns us not to be a “meddler” (1 Peter 4v15).
The meddling busybody may think they are expressing compassionate concern, whereas they are actually enjoying being in the centre of other people’s issues. Closely flowing from such meddling is often unhelpful gossip and potential division. Sadly, the meddling busybody may be demonstrating deep insecurity in God. Jesus’ word was personal to Peter – he was not to worry about God’s tailored plan for John (and certainly not to draw comparisons, entertain jealous thoughts etc.). As to Peter, the risen Jesus says to each of us “you must follow Me”; let us, therefore, continue to “fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12v2). And as we do so “each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each should carry his own load” (Galatians 6v4,5)
Peace and Grace