Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jesus Prophesied of Peter's Death (Jn. 21:18-23)

Passage: John 21:18-23

Only Jesus said “Follow Me” because He is the Son of God. Other religious leaders never said so.  When Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me”, Peter left everything and followed Jesus.  But after Jesus’ resurrection, disciples could not follow Jesus physically the way they used to. 

So they went back to fishing.  God showed them that without Him they could do nothing.  They caught nothing all night but at Jesus’ command they caught many fish.  And coming to the shore, Jesus already prepared everything without using any of the fish they caught.

After reinstating Peter, Jesus prophesied of Peter’s death (v.18-19).  Following Christ involve denying oneself and taking up the cross.  Jesus was frank about this.  Those who are determined to live a holy life will be persecuted.  We will face a lot of sufferings to enter the kingdom of God.  Christianity is not a religion with empty promises.  It is completely honest and faithful. 

There are sufferings for Christians but our Lord has suffered more.  When we follow the Lord, we need to obey and suffer for Him.  The Lord never promised a smooth journey.  The faith of Christianity is demostrated in its steadfastness in the midst of sufferings.  This is due to the love of Christ.  When Christians suffer for their faith, they are closest to God.  So Jesus said to Peter that he would die persecuted for his faith.  Is this God’s blessings?  What kind of God is this, so cold and cruel?  Why should I follow Him?

John said Jesus said this to show the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.  Within 30 years after Jesus said this, Peter was crucified, and at his request, he was crucified upside down as he saw himself unworthy to die like the Lord.  Is this a death that glorifies God? 

Following the Lord, there may be persecution.  Peter wrote in his epistles that the glory of God is manifested in Christian sufferings.  The Spirit of God rests on them.  When you are persecuted you display the glory of God. 

Thinking of what Jesus said about his old days, Peter turned and asked what would happen to John.  Jesus said it had nothing to do with Peter.  Our spirituality fails when we compare ourselves with others.  Comparing ourselves with others is the source of unnecessary sufferings.  We should compare ourselves with Jesus.  He suffered more than anyone else.  We should compare our obedience with Christ’s. 

The first sentence Jesus said to Peter is “Follow Me”. His last sentence to Peter is also, “Follow Me.”  It is because of the Lord’s enabling that we can follow Him.  Without His protection, we will not stand to the end.


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