Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord who is going to betray you?”) When Peter sah him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:20 – 23)
This small section of scripture, buried in the larger pericope of Peter’s restoration is one that I go back to again and again to remind me of my proper relationship to the Lord and others in His Church. Dr. Vernon Grounds once spoke on passage in chapel, reminding the ministers in attendance that our ministry was never to be compared to someone else’s. Whether we were successful in the eyes of the world (i.e., megachurch growth) or a failure by the same standard (nurturing a small, unnoticed body), the minister was simply to make sure that he was a success according to the call of the Lord. If Jesus calls you to toil in some small body, go and do it with all your heart. If he places you in a megachurch, work every day to ensure your own humility knowing that the success is the Lord’s, not yours. Blogging pastors who spend more time bragging about all the conferences they speak at or their world travels that an ‘unnamed benefactor’ sends them on should bookmark this passage.
As Dr. Grounds said, pointing to men and women in the chapel body, “don’t worry about him or her and what they have been called to do. Simply follow Jesus.”
Amen Dr. Grounds.