Where Are You Looking
John 20:28-31; 21:1-8
June 14, 2009
I’ve taken the title for today’s message from a devotional by Henry Blackaby based on John 21:20-21: “Where Are You Looking?” We’ve been looking together at the cross, and Jesus’ last words. Last week we examined His words: “I thirst”. Comparing them to all His other references to thirsting after living water. These words were followed by “it is finished. His last recorded words from the cross in the book of John (19:30) which specified not the end of His life, as some believe, but rather the completion of His task. “It is finished”: the purpose I came for is completed. The crucial truth is Jesus died as a substitute for our sin. It was accomplished on the cross. God gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life! (Jn 3:16)
Today we’re going to look at the risen Lord’s encounter with one disciple – Peter. Turn with me, if you like, to John chapter 21 and we’ll start by looking at what Blackaby has to say:
In John 21:20-21 we read,
So Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them. [That disciple] was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and asked, “Lord, who is the one that’s going to betray You?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord—what about him?
The first thing you do after God speaks to you is critical. Jesus was telling Peter what type of ministry he would have and what type of death he would suffer (vv. 18–19). It was a sacred moment in Peter's life, as his Lord pulled back the curtain to his future. His was not to be an easy life but a life ordained and blessed by his Lord and Master.
Rather than responding to what Jesus told him, Peter looked around at his fellow disciples. His glance fell upon John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. “But Lord, what about this man?” Peter had just been given the somber news of his future death. How natural to compare his assignment with that of the others! This is the great temptation of God's servants: to compare our situation with that of others. Did God give my friend a larger house? Did God heal my friend's loved one and not mine? Did God allow my friend to receive appreciation and praise for his work while I remain anonymous? Did God allow another Christian to remain close to her family while I am far removed from mine?
Jesus assigned Peter and John to walk two different paths, but both Peter and John have enriched our lives. Jesus knew how dangerous it is when a servant takes his eyes off the master to focus on a fellow servant. Where is your focus? Have you become more concerned with how God is treating someone else than you are with how He is relating to you? Let’s look today at the last chapter in the book of John and see what we can learn from Jesus’ encounter with Peter. Let’s see where he was looking.