The twenty-first chapter closes John’s Gospel. The apostles were in grief from Jesus’ death and also fear of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. In an effort, like the two travelers to Emmaus, the apostles look to return to a normal life. The life of fishing they had known before Jesus called them to follow Him three years earlier. They thought that their old normal would be what they would return to but Jesus had another plan.
In our lives after a trial of grief from losing a loved one, losing a job or losing a relationship in our lives we just want to get back to the place we were before it all happened. We are mostly logical in our human nature and yet even though we know we cannot get back what is gone we try anyway. We cannot replace a person, place or thing that is gone and yet we would prefer to spend time trying when eventually we will have to yield to God and move forward.
Forward will create the “new normal” that we hear so much about today. Yet the concept of “new normal” is a myth that we have learned better as we live. As we grow older and our lives, relationships, families and job changes we are continuously living an ever-changing place of normal.
God’s normal for us is that we are always moving forward in His Word and in our lives to live according to His purpose. It is this purpose that He asks Peter about after their time of fellowship and breakfast on the beach. The resurrected Jesus appears to His apostles on this morning to help them understand that they have a new normal but is not fishing for fish but for men.
Jesus provides Peter with His purpose in life based on Peter’s threefold commitment to his love for Jesus. Jesus ask Peter for his love and for him to love God more by loving others more too. Feed the new to the faith, Guide and teach all, Feed the mature in the faith to also serve. ( John 21:15-17 )
Even with his promise to carry and advance Jesus’ ministry here on earth Peter still has the free will of human nature in him. Now that Peter knows what he is going to do he wants to also know what John will do in the future. We always like to compare our lot and place in life to others whether it be our path in life, our day-to-day obstacles and circumstances or just to see where we are in the scheme of things compared to others that we know.
This type of comparison has 3 big challenges for us in life – 1) comparing our path to others will most likely either make us feel good or bad for the results in our life that may be completely independent of our purpose. 2) Looking at someone else allows us to take our focus off our relationship with God and what His purpose really is for us. 3) It takes valuable time from our lives that we could be fulfilling our purpose and producing fruit for God according to His purpose for us here on earth.
OUR PURPOSE IS OUR PURPOSE.
With our lives here being a “one way” ticket there is only one of any given minute, hour or day in our lives and we can never get one back. No two can be the same and no two can ever be repeated so our faith should move us to follow Jesus without getting bogged in how we might measure our lives by the lives of others. Jesus answer to Peter here is a firm reminder for us that our days here are limited and each one is a gift granted by Him.
What is it to You?
If we are trying to busy ourselves with others business, we should hear God in our conscience asking, “ What is that to you?”. May that reminder keep us on track and faithful to our calling knowing that God has all things under His hand, and we are to simply follow Him …
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