ESOCS Devotional 19 December 2022
TEXT: JOHN 21:20-25
MEMORY VERSE: “Jesus said to him, ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me’.” John 21:22
0 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. 11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. 12 When the day began to wear away, the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding towns and country, and lodge and get provisions; for we are in a deserted lace ”
There are lessons to learn from this passage. As Christians we should imbibe the character of self-restraint. Peter had the attitude of talking out of turn; he often talked about issues that were not of any importance at the time. This may be an element that shows lack of focus or lack of the ability to concentrate on what is relevant at each point. Anyone with such a trait is always distracted and is not mindful of the need for self-comportment or applying tactfulness and diplomacy in handling issues in human relations. Such a person could be described as somebody who talks anyhow without any thought for the feelings of others. This attitude is not a Christian attribute.
At another instance, we should always remember that our main business is to follow the Lord Jesus Christ wherever He leads us. His eternal command to us is “Follow me”. The character of being a busybody is a habit of worldly people. Many people concentrate on finding faults in others, while they neglect the need to check themselves. Our Lord said, “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye” (Luke 6:42). In many cases, such people draw enmity to themselves and consequently suffer diverse persecutions because it is natural that people would dislike and hate them. 1 Peter 4:15 says, “But let none of you suffer … as a busybody in other people’s matters.” 1 Timothy 5:13 describes them as people who “learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” True Christians do not have such identity.
Our Lord’s reply to Peter was a sharp rebuke. He said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow me.” From this, we learn that we should not allow things that do not have anything to do with our personal relationship with Jesus to distract us from focusing on Him. It does not profit us anything to be curious about things that are not connected to our salvation. For instance, unnecessary arguments about religion and orthodox or unorthodox practices do not lead to holiness and righteousness. Rather, we should spend our times trying to learn how to strengthen our faith, abstain from all forms of ungodliness, and how to imbibe and maintain the discipline of holy Christian living. Such pursuits are very good and should be our worthwhile ventures.
Jesus knows how to take care of His own people. Therefore, it was not Peter’s business to ask or want to know what our Lord purposed to do with John. All that he was supposed to do was to continue to follow his Master diligently along the pathway that He led him, and not occupy his mind with Christ’s intention for others. Our Lord has called us to duty and fellowship with Him. Let us be mindful of that call and not lose focus; and let us be mindful to do the will of God always, and not any other business.
- What things do you think would help you focus on the heavenly journey?
- Pray the Holy Spirit to be with you all the time.
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ESOCS Devotional 19 December 2022