John Lesson 28 Day 4

John Lesson 28 Day 2, John Lesson 28 Day 3, John Lesson 28 Day 4, John Lesson 28 Day 5

John Lesson 28 Day 4

John 21:18-23

9. Jesus’ call on Peter’s life — Follow Me

Jesus said in Peter’s earlier days, he was a self-confident, independent man—a man of action.

He also prophesied about Peter’s future.

  • When you grow old—Peter will live to be an old man. “Ancient writers say that Peter was put to death about thirty-four years after this. His precise age at that time is not known.” (Barnes)
  • Jesus hinted at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. We don’t know if Peter knew exactly what Jesus meant, but John did as he wrote his account.
  • And then Jesus commanded, “Follow me.” Some scholars say it literally means ‘Keep on following me.’

“Ancient writers state that, about thirty-four years after this, Peter was crucified; and that he deemed it so glorious a thing to die for Christ that he begged to be crucified with his head downwards, not considering himself worthy to die in the same posture in which his Lord did.” (Clark)

10. a. What about John?

Instead of saying, “Yes,” Peter turns around and looks at John, and asks “what about this man?” We often see John following Peter around. Is Peter wondering if John’s destiny is the same and if they will continue to work together and die together? Perhaps he is more concerned about John, or was he feeling uncertain, or deflecting the attention while he pondered what Jesus said.

Why did Peter ask, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” Did he forget about Judas? Or did Jesus mention that another person was going to betray him?

Then Peter saw John and asked, “What about this man?”

b. Jesus words about John

“If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”  So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” Today we would say, “Peter, it’s none of your business.”

That rumor still persists in some circles because John could not be killed. “Tradition holds that John was sentenced to death in a boiling vat of oil. Yet he emerged unharmed from the experience. Again tradition tells us that John lived into old age dying sometime after AD 98. He is thought to have died in Ephesus.” (source) “John (son of Zebedee and brother of James) – traditionally said to have been buried in Ephesus. The basilica has been there since the 6th century, but his remains are said to have not been found.” (Stackexchange.com)

The lesson we learn from Jesus’ reply to Peter, each of us must decide if we will be obedient to the call to follow Him. We should not base our decision on what others are called to do or what they decide to do. Nor should we get sidetracked or preoccupied. ” Comparing ourselves with others, whether we come out good or bad in the comparison, is unwise (2 Corinthians 10:12).” (Andrew Wommack Living Commentary)

11. Jesus’ rebuke of Peter

“I have come to the conclusion that, instead of trying to set all my Master’s servants right at once, my first and most important work is to follow my Lord; and I think, my brother, that it will be wise for you to come to the same conclusion.” (Spurgeon)

Jesus’ rebuke highlights how easily people misunderstand or take a statement out of context.

I must ask Holy Spirit to show me when that happens in my own life. The most important practice is to read and study God’s Word. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV


My answers to BSF Bible study fellowship questions on John Lesson 28 Day 4 ~ John 21:18-23