Saturday, March 07, 2015

"What is That to You? You Follow Me!"

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When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’  Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?  You follow me!’  (John 21:20)

Peter had just had a humbling, intimate encounter with his Savior – his dearest Friend.  After experiencing the awesome forgiveness of the Lamb of God and declaring His love and devotion for the risen Christ, Peter was given a glimpse of what he was to do and what he was to face as a disciple of Jesus.

Yet, after debatably the most incredible experience he had ever had with his Master, what did Peter do?  He looked around at all the other disciples and said, in effect, 

“But Lord, what about them?”

The truth is, we are way too often just like Peter was.  We look around at those next to us when we should be looking to our Savior.  We compare ourselves to them, hoping that we can somehow measure up.  But all the while, Christ is saying to us, 

“What is that to you?  You follow me!”

There are so many ways in which we compare ourselves to others.  Some of us beat ourselves down for not being as faithful as the rest.  Others of us do the opposite, looking down on others and patting ourselves on the back for our supposed holiness.  Still others look at those more righteous than us and either harbor jealousy or try to live up to their standards.

However, these are all wrong.  It’s as if we’re all scrambling around, trying to align our lives up with someone else’s path, while completely missing the straight and narrow path that’s been laid out right in front of us!

Now, it’s perfectly acceptable – and even encouraged – to try to imitate and look up to those who are ahead of us in the journey of becoming more like Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).  But if we spend our lives trying to live up to any standard other than Christ’s – whether it be a friend’s, church member’s, or even one we’ve created for ourselves – we will stray further and further away from our Heavenly Father.

Are you trying to live your life according to someone else’s standard?  Am I?  Jesus Christ sees our vain, anxious struggles to measure up to others and asks us, “What is that to you?  Are they more important than I am to you?  Did they die for you?  Are they the Alpha and Omega?  You don’t follow them.  You don’t follow those around you.  

"You follow me.”