2017-03-19 – John 21.20-25 – What About Him?

2017-03-19 – John 21:20-25 – What About Him?  

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” 23 So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Good morning everyone. I am so happy to see you all here today. Spring has sprung, we are looking forward to the coming warmth and the spring flowers. This is my favorite time of year for sure. I love seeing the new life God brings.

I am happy to report to you that the Vacation Bible School group will be coming here from south-central Illinois. They could be bringing some 30+ volunteers with them which is almost 1/3 of their church. Please keep all of this in prayer as there is a lot of preparation needed yet to make this all a success.

Special guest this morning: Jessica Trowbridge currently serves as the program coordinator for the Quad City Chapter of Safe Families for Children.  She has been involved with Safe Families in various volunteer roles since 2009, and has been on staff for almost 2 years. Jessica lives in Moline and is currently seeking a degree in Christian Counseling through Liberty University.  SHOW VIDEO

What a noble and worthy cause. There are many ways we can show our love for Jesus to our communities and to the world at large. God doesn’t want you to be only a Sunday morning kind of Christian, He wants us to be continually working out our faith as long as we are alive. Making a positive difference for His glory. The question is, are you willing? Thank you Jessica for visiting with us today.

Anyone here ever watch the old show called The Adams Family? In that show, there was a really big Frankenstein looking character named Lurch, it was played by a fellow named Ted Cassidy. Does anyone recall the phrase in that show that Lurch was known for?  “Follow Me”. In our message today we are going to read where Jesus says these same two words “Follow Me”.

Please turn in your Bible to John 21:20-25, or Page 116 in the Pew Bible.  Which is the Inspired, Infallible, and Living Word of God     [PRAYER]

This is our last our final verses of this book by the author being the Apostle John. Jesus was preparing them for His final goodbye before He ascends into Heaven.

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 

So to put this into context, you should know that after Jesus appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee subsequent to His rising from the grave, then He had a personal conversation with Peter. Last week we went over how Jesus asked Peter “Do You Love Me? Do You Love Me? Do You Love Me?” to which got Peter upset. Then Jesus told Peter that He was effectively appointing him to caretake over the church, Jesus was entrusting Peter with His bride the church. Peter was going to be the first Christ designated Pastor.

Our verse here states that the “disciple whom Jesus loved” was following them. The “disciple whom Jesus loved” was the author of this book the Apostle John; He was following Jesus and Peter as they were talking. I find it interesting that the author John was writing about Peter who was speaking of John who is described as being the one that asked Jesus about Judas. Are you following me in all this?

21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” 

These verses shows the human nature of the disciples. “what about him?” Peter said. Reminds me of when I was a kid, me and my brother and sister used to get into all kinds of trouble as we were all only 22 months apart in age total. One of us would get in trouble and punished or ostracized, and then invariably, one of the first things that would have come out of our mouths was, what about him?

Recall in our previous chapter, Jesus had just told Peter that He was going to die in service to Jesus’s ministry. I personally think that Peter was relieved that Jesus said he was going to die for his faith because Peter probably thought of himself as a failure before, as he so miserably failed the Lord previously and denied even knowing Jesus three-times. And remember Jesus even told Peter that he was going deny Him ahead of time. Peter said, not me Lord, no way, then he did it anyway. Now Jesus restored Peter as the leader, told Peter that he would even be martyred for his faith, and then since Peter and John were such competitive comrades, Peter now wanted to know “what about John?” What’s going to happen to him?

Now I would bet that most of us would want to know at different times in our lives what will be the future for ourselves and for the people we care about. I think that is a normal human response, and John believed that Jesus knew the answer. And I love Jesus’s response to John’s question here, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” Effectively Jesus replied, Nun-ya.. Everyone say Nun-ya, lol

It is kind of funny, but there are a couple ways we could look at this response.

  • You don’t have to worry about it Peter because you have enough to worry about in your own life.
  • You don’t have to worry about it Peter because just like I am in control over what is going to happen to you, I am in control over what is going to happen to John.
  • You don’t have to worry about it Peter because just like your going to heaven despite the earthly trials, John’s heavenly home is also secure.

Worry can cripple a Christian. Jesus was telling Peter that he didn’t have to worry about his dear friend John. And with that, Jesus is also telling us that we don’t have to worry either. Don’t let worry cripple you. Like Peter, God has work for us do. He has it all under control. Trust Jesus as you move forward and serve Him.

23 So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

Rumors caused a problem then, and they still do today. It must have been disruptive because John felt it important enough to write about it for us to read today. But one more little point here in this verse I want to call your attention to. Jesus confirmed here with the words “until I come” that He was in fact leaving, but more importantly, coming back. That is what we believe is going to happen. Jesus is going to come back again one day, and we call that the second coming.  We will talk about that a little more next week but His statement “until I come” is one more obvious piece of evidence of what is yet to come.

24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 

Again, John is speaking about himself here. He is saying that what he wrote about Jesus is true. John saw Jesus, John spent time with Jesus, John loves Jesus. He is a disciple or student follower of Jesus and this book was written and distributed while many of the witnesses to this testimony were still alive. There are a lot of things written in this book and the other Gospels that are controversial, some even shed a bad light on the disciples, and I find that refreshing unique and precious.

However, the community then, and the community now seems to love distorting God’s word and make of it something that it is not. We need to be smart about what the Bible says so we will not be swayed by the winds of the populous who are pawns for Satan and his schemes. There are tons of false narratives going on in the world today. Some try to pass fiction as fact, some will do anything to capture your attention and keep you from actually picking-up the Bible and reading it for yourself. Be careful dear friends for what and whom you allow to influence your mind.

We must be diligent in keeping up our guard against such things and put on the full armor of God as it states in Ephesians 6:13: “so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.
In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the word of God. “ I hope you trust this book we call God’s Word and you choose to read and believe, as I believe that it can be trusted as fact.

25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

In this last verse of his book, John is telling us that he was selective as to the things he could have written about. What he wrote was inspired by God so we can enjoy it today. John’s goal in this book was to write enough so that we might know Jesus and believe. John was an evangelical Christ Follower. What is an Evangelical? Evangelicals take the Bible seriously and believe that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. The term “evangelical” comes from the Greek word euangelion, meaning “the good news” or the “gospel.” Thus, the evangelical focuses on the “good news” of salvation given to sinners by Jesus Christ as a humble gift. John’s desire is that you know what that gift is. That you know who the giver of the gift is, and you choose to believe in Him.

At the end of our last chapter 20, John wrote a paragraph that is entitled The Purpose of This Book which compliments this last verse we have today.

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

John’s wish is the same as Jesus wish for you through these words. That you choose believe so that you will have eternal life with Him in heaven.

This book of John ends here, but there are a few more events recorded in the Bible that we know of about Jesus that are noteworthy to mention before we close.

1 Corinthians 15 – Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Matthew 28:16 The Commissioning of the Disciples – 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Luke 24:50 – The Ascension of Jesus 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God

Mark 16:19 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.

One final message to you from our text today. It is the last two words of verse 22, of this last paragraph in this Gospel book of John. Jesus said to Peter “Follow Me”. Those two words are riddled throughout the new testament by Jesus.

Matthew 4:19 – “Come, follow me, and I will send you fishers of men.”

Matthew 8:22 – “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Matthew 9:9 – “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

Luke 9:23 – “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Matthew 19:21- “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

John 8:12 – “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 12:26 – “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

Jesus told Peter in our verse today “Follow Me”, and He tells us the same today “Follow Me”. Are you willing to listen to Jesus on this matter?  Will you choose to become a follower of Jesus Christ today?

Like Peter, we may not have all the answers to this thing called life. But Jesus wants you to fill that gap of understanding with faith. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

That is what Jesus wants you to do today, take that first step and choose to follow Him.