Jesus Wants You to Be You

God had you specifically in mind when he created you and called you to follow him. You are custom-designed for your calling. But when you face the difficulty of your calling, you may look at others and be tempted to wonder why they don’t seem to bear the same burdens you do. Don’t be discouraged; in John 21, the Apostle Peter faced the same temptation. "What About this Man?"

After the resurrected Jesus served his sleep-deprived fisherman-disciples a seaside breakfast of miracle fish, he took Peter on a walk down the beach. Jesus wanted to tell Peter a few important things directly before Jesus parted physically from him for the last time in this age. John trailed them, about ten yards behind.

Toward the end of their conversation, Jesus dropped a bombshell on Peter: "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go." Then Jesus, as only he could do, peered right into Peter's soul and said, "Follow me."

Peter had already been dreading Jesus's final departure, wondering how this small, fearful band of disciples would survive without him. Peter wondered how he would survive. Now Jesus informed him that he wasn't going to survive. Peter was going to die for Jesus. Only this time Peter issued no over-confident proclamation like he had during the Passover meal. Now he knew how weak he really was. Left to himself, he was a coward.

But Peter remembered that he would not be left to himself like an orphan; Jesus, though gone, would somehow come to him in the future (John 14:18). Peter believed this. Jesus had never once failed to keep a promise. But how Jesus would come to him at the moment of his execution, Peter could not conceive. He already felt lonely.

And Peter wondered why Jesus hadn't spoken of other disciples' deaths. Was he the only one who would have to die? Peter looked around for the others and he saw John, who was walking just where the cool surf gently pushed up and bathed his feet. Peter knew how Jesus loved John, and he wondered if Jesus was going to spare John the cost that he was asking Peter to pay. Gesturing back, Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?"

Jesus's brow furrowed as he watched two gulls quarrel over a dead fish. Then he looked at Peter and responded with his familiar tender firmness, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!"

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]