Scripture Reading — John 21:18-23
You must follow me.
John 21:22 —
Follow me! Jesus says to Peter. All who have met the living Lord are commanded to follow him.
In following Jesus, Peter ended up in Rome, where he died for his faith. Tradition has it that Peter was crucified like Jesus, except that Peter requested to be crucified upside down, to show that he was not worthy to die as Jesus had died.
Following Jesus brought Peter to a cross. We often forget that following Jesus brings sacrifice. Jesus says to his disciples, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24). Some Christians seem to think that when you are a Christian you are on easy street. But living the Christian life is not always easy. If you stand up for Jesus, you will be in conflict with the powers of this world. In many places around the world, Christians suffer and sometimes even die for their faith.
In our reading for today, Peter wonders what will happen to the apostle John (see John 13:25), but Jesus tells Peter that he must focus instead on following Jesus.
We must always remember that we cannot follow both Jesus and the world. And we must not get sidetracked in wondering about the Lords plans for other believers. We each need to be faithful in the calling he gives us.
Dear Lord, give us the grace and courage to follow you even if that means sacrifice. We pray for all who are persecuted today, trusting in your blessing for us all. Amen.