“Peter asked Jesus, "What about him, Lord?"
Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remains until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” – John 21:22
What is that to you?
Wow! What a smack in the face.
The question Jesus gives when our eyes are on someone else. It's so easy to look at what someone else has, or what someone else is doing and feel like we are the only ones who are getting the short end of the stick.
Have you ever felt that way?
Like when God has called or asked you to do something that seems irregular for others. It’s kind of like a story I heard once about a preacher telling a young man “Others can, but you can’t.” What he meant by that was, “you have a calling on your life, so you can’t live like the others.” It’s just like this situation with Peter. As Jesus was restoring and confronting him about his commitment to follow Him, Peter gets distracted.
You will see Your Distraction right after you hear about Your Destiny
The moment Jesus was telling him about his destiny, Peter could not help but look and point to someone else and wonder about their future. But Jesus is determined to make sure you are not distracted thinking about God’s plan for someone else. Peter asked Jesus, “but what about him?” And Jesus quickly responds "what is that to you?" It's like Jesus was saying what we classically say when someone is nosy.
Jesus: “That’s Nonya!”
Jesus: “Yes! That’s none-of-your-business.”
You see Jesus wants us to own and understand our destiny, and not look at how He will use others. It’s not to say you can’t know or care about someone else’s fate. We all should. But when we are ignoring our own, and yet questioning others, there is something wrong. Think about it this way: Who comes to your mind when God is telling you how He wants you to treat people or when he is commanding you to do something? Usually, you start comparing yourself, and who is that other person you are thinking about?
Why did Peter look at someone else? It ’s because we don’t always like what Jesus is telling us. Jesus was essentially mapping out Peter’s life without the details, and saying that He was going to die similarly to Jesus. That can be hard to hear, especially after having watched from a distance how Jesus was treated and lead to his death on the Cross (Luke 22:54-62) . Of course, Peter forgets all the good things God will do that will lead him there (Romans 8:28).
Jesus did not just go from being called and baptized in the Jordan to being scourged and crucified by the Romans immediately after. God would work miracles, save lives, and impact people for years before His death. The same was about to happen to Peter, but He could not see that. But He could see someone else. That’s when we get jaded. That’s when we lose sight of what is precious to Jesus. Jesus is not trying to be hard on Peter. He is lovingly restoring him and reminding Him to be committed to doing the great work that Jesus has called him too.
We so quickly think of someone who seems to be getting away with disobeying God or living in sin. We start to think to ourselves “how come God has not asked them to do it, or how come they are not doing it already?” And Jesus asks us, “What is that to you?” You follow me!” (John 21:22). We don’t get to decide people’s destiny’s, or when or how Jesus chooses to call and use them. That’s none of our business. We get to keep “our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).