Dear readers I have the greatest pleasure in welcoming a dear brother in Christ, Kent, to write the first in a series of guest posts. Kent’s blog Gersom Clark is a daily must read for me, with his beautiful scripture verse pictures. They are great prompts for prayer and even writing, I would commend them highly to you. But without further delay, here is Kent’s post…
18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” 20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during 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? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers 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?” (John 21:20-23, ESV)
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sometimes, I would like to know what was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Will rapture happen before the tribulation, during, or right after? What are the exact dates of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection, so we can celebrate on those specific days of the year? Was the chariot of fire that Elijah rode an unidentified flying object? Where is the ark of the covenant right now? What will the mark of the beast be like? Why is Christian A more prosperous than Christian B? Will Mr. V, Mrs. W, Ms. X, nosy neighbor Y, and politician Z be saved?
These questions and Biblical mysteries are similar to Peter’s genuine query on “what about this man” referring to John i.e. what will happen to him. There are many speculations on what Peter was really asking after receiving a glimpse of his future and martyrdom from Jesus. Explanations and commentaries were put forward with mostly highlighting either the disciple’s sincere concern towards his fellow disciple or comparing his dire fate with him. For John Piper, like Peter, we sinners are wired and crave to compare with each other. Sometimes, we have watched our fellow Christians more than our devotion to our Savior. As Albert Barne’s pointed out, whatever was Peter’s intent, his curiosity was not gratified by Jesus. Christ gave him a straightforward response, which is key and essential–follow Jesus. Christ, who is an Omniscient GOD, knows what Peter truly meant but it is not relevant to be added in the Scriptures.
Christ commanded us to follow Him, and we all know that is imperative! We also learned from this set of verses that we must focus on Christ, in His way for our salvation rather than being engrossed with the trivialities in our Christian life and the lives of other Christians. Of course, we should care for the people in the world, let alone fellow Christians and we should discern from their life’s lessons but we do this with our Lord God and Master in mind and the center of it all.
In the world of reality shows, the notion that a person from Jesus’ time is living with us today, will definitely spark the curious mind. We would like to know what he is posting right now on his Social Media account, what longevity food he eats, and what kind of life does he have all those years. Better yet, knowing which churches he is attending is a good piece of information if not a good promotional ad. But it diverts our minds from Jesus our Savior. Whatever God’s plan and will for John, it is His Sovereign business. Besides, John’s repetition of what Jesus had said, emphasizes that we focus solely on the message of following Christ. Also, as workers of Christ, regardless of what He directs us to do, the duration of it, and how we end in this world, if God truly elects us, we will all receive the same/equal reward i.e. worshipping the Triune God in Heaven. This makes us appreciate God’s grace more and know His Sovereign will.
When we discard noises by zeroing in on Jesus like a one-on-one relationship based on the Truth of our salvation by the sole work of the Triune God, He is building our character and renewing us slowly through His Word that we read. As an example, the thing that we are doing in our “blog ministry” is somehow for us primarily and for our audience secondarily. This does not diminish our ministry in spreading God’s Word. It means we should strive for our sanctification that Jesus completes by focusing on Him and not get bothered by the speck in someone’s eye or other extra-biblical notions. The end times, well, have faith and fear not little flock!
Finally, the verses talk about faith in Jesus. You are in good hands with God and so are your loved ones when God calls you and them in saving faith. Whatever your circumstances in this world are, palatable or otherwise, God assures you and your loved ones to be in His Kingdom. All you have to do is set your eyes on Christ and be Heaven-ready, solely by His grace. Now is the time that you pray. Dear God….