Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth Thee?
Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me.
Even after such a profound conversation as Jesus and Peter had just had, Peter was still Peter. One of the things I love about God is that He not only fashioned us to be who we are, but He also uses us according to our own abilities, personalities, and strengths and weaknesses.
Peter, being just as human as the rest of us, wanted the spotlight to go elsewhere. He noticed John following close by, and said to Jesus, “Well, what about him? What is he going to do?”
We love to deflect, don’t we? Any time we are challenged, confronted, shown our own weakness, we tend to say, “Well, what about YOU?” We like to shift the blame anywhere else, and it’s one of the most common things I encountered in my counseling office. “Well, she. . . .” or “Yeah, but he. . . . .”
There may have been some jealousy on Peter’s part, too. John always, in his gospel, refers to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved.” He had been designated to care for Mary, Jesus’ mother. Human nature does not change from one century to another. Any child who does well in school stands in danger of the dreaded epithet teacher’s pet, which is sure to cut him down a peg or two lest he becomes too big for his britches.
Jesus knew Peter’s heart. His answer is classic. “If it is My will that he lives until I return, what is that to you, Peter? You, yourself–you must follow Me!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon is a great favorite of mine. I’m going to close with his words:
“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.”Blue Letter Bible