“What about this man?”, asked Peter. Jesus’ blunt words—“None of your business, you follow me” – are music to my ears. They are liberating from the loveless, depressing and often fatal slavery of comparing.
As a minister, It is so easy to become depressed by the sheer number of “wise counsellors” out there. Book after book, conference after conference, DVD after DVD, telling me how to succeed in ministry. And all of them quietly delivering the message that I am not making it.
Worship could be better. Preaching could be better. Evangelism could be better. Pastoral care could be better. Youth ministry could be better. Missions could be better.
And here is what works. Buy this. Go here. Go there. Do it this way.
Peter had just heard a very hard word. You will die—painfully.
His first thought was comparison. What about John? If I have to suffer, will he have to suffer? If my ministry ends like that, will his end like that? If I don’t get to live a long life of fruitful ministry, will he get to?
That’s the way we sinners are wired. Compare. Compare. Compare.
We crave to know how we stack up in comparison to others. There is some kind of high if we can just find someone less effective than we are.
Jesus was tough on Peter. But look at the liberty, the freedom that comes when Jesus gets tough! Jesus will not judge you according to your superiority or inferiority over anybody. No preacher. No church. No ministry. No family. These are not the standard.
Jesus has a work for you to do (and a different one for me). And there is a grace and strength through the Spirit to do it.
Here is the question.
Was the Death, Resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ enough for Peter to love Him and serve Him where He had called Peter to serve for the sake of His Kingdom – And then die where He had called Peter to die for the sake of His Glory?
And is it enough for you?