Worry About Yourself

Message/Application:  In John 21 the disciples had seen Jesus a few times since his resurrection. They had been interrupted by Jesus during their grief as they hid from the Jews in fear of what might be done to them. They had been known and recognized as Jesus followers and they had seen what was done to Jesus. But now they had seen Jesus in a resurrected state. He had come and shown them the wound scars in his hands and his side, but he was gone again. The disciples no longer had their teacher to follow around, so it seems they returned to what they knew-fishing. This was the very thing they had abandoned in order to follow Jesus. They were no longer hiding from the Jews. They were back to business as usual, but it wasn’t working out for them. They caught no fish, and a strange man was on the shore asking them about their catch and advising them to put their nets on the other side. For some reason they listened to the unknown person and when they did, they caught an abundance of fish and immediately recognized that the stranger was Jesus. The irony of it all is that this is exactly what happened the last time they had been fishing and this was the exact scene that they abandoned to go follow Jesus. In this seemingly déjà vu moment, Peter couldn’t get to the shore fast enough, but Jesus must have still been physically unrecognizable up close because verse 12 tells us that when Jesus told them to come and have breakfast, none of them questioned by asking who he was. They knew it was Jesus because they recognized his ways, not his physical appearance. This always fascinates me. Why was Jesus incognito? A little further in Jesus begins to press Peter asking him if he loved him and giving him instructions. He warned Peter about the persecution he would face and ultimately his death. Peter couldn’t help but look right at John and say “but what about him?”. To this Jesus told him that what happened to John was no concern of his. In other words, “worry about yourself Peter”. This is something we say to toddlers and kids but if we’re honest, we all struggle with this. Why do I have this suffering when I see others seemingly cruising through calm waters? The funny part about this story is that Jesus basically told Peter ‘what is it to you if my plan for John is a long happy life?’ “YOU follow me”. He emphasized this so strongly that they continued to rumor that this is what Jesus promised for John. We all are tempted to compare but just like Jesus showed up unrecognizable to his disciples, he shows up in our lives this way. We recognize him by his ways and we really can’t see what he’s doing in the lives of others but we need to worry about ourselves. What he has for me is different than what he has for anyone else. Worry about yourself!

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