Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”

  • John 21:20-22

Moments before this dialogue between Jesus and Peter, Jesus stood near a charcoal fire and asked Peter three times to affirm his love for him. The same question of, “do you love me?” was used to reflect the three times that Peter denied him. Each time that Peter responded that he did indeed love him, Jesus followed up with an exhortation to care for the flock of God. That interaction by the charcoal fire looked back to the most painful moment in Peter’s life, but now brought forth the most beautiful moment in his life – reconciliation and restoration to Jesus (Jn 21:15-19). Moreover, Jesus used those tender moments to confirm Peter’s calling that he would be the “rock” on which He would build his church (Mt 16:7-19) as well as foreshadowed the type of death that Peter would endure.

Moments after Jesus restored Peter to himself and reminded him of his divine calling, Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved – John. I can only imagine the list that flowed through Peter’s thoughts when he saw his dear friend and fishing partner (Lk 5:1-11). John, the very one whose temperament differed from Peter’s in that he was more contemplative and reflective, not so boisterous and impulsive. John, the very one who went into the courtyard and did not deny Jesus (Jn 18:15-16). John, the very one who was there at the foot of the cross as Jesus took his final breaths and the one to whom Jesus entrusted his mother (Jn 19:26-27). John, the very one who recognized the risen Jesus on the shoreline and leaned in to tell Peter it was the Lord (Jn 21:7). So, when Peter turned and saw him and couldn’t help himself but ask Jesus, “what about this man?”

In other words, Jesus, isn’t he a better choice? Shouldn’t he be trusted with such a weighty responsibility to lead the early church? Isn’t he more worthy to die such a death like yours? He remained faithful and didn’t deny you in the courtyard when I did. He was there at your final breaths and your mother is entrusted to him. He saw you when I couldn’t and pointed you out to me. I really think he may be the better choice.

Jesus’s response to Peter was tender and yet, got right to the heart issue, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me” (Jn 21:22). In other words, Don’t concern yourself with the lot and portion that I have for someone else. Keep your eyes on me. Follow me.

We do the same thing, right? We often look at the lot and portion that another person has and think God made a mistake. Perhaps it’s reaching high ranks of successful or fame in one’s work. Perhaps it’s the blessing of family life. Perhaps it’s the effectiveness of ministry and sharing the gospel with unbelievers. Perhaps it’s wishing for a different road – one that’s easier and filled with less heartache. But we all do it. We all look at the lot and portion that God has given to us, and we think, Really? What about that person?

Comparison is the thief of joy, isn’t it?

Like Peter, we need to keep our eyes fixated on Jesus – not on others (be that what they have or don’t have). Like Peter, we need to follow Jesus. And as we follow him, with our eyes fixated on him alone, we experience the tenderness of his gentle and humble heart (Mt 11:28-30). And as we follow him, we come to trust and believe that He is for us and that nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:31, 39). And as we follow him, we experience being conformed into his likeness (1 Thes 5:23). And as we follow him, especially under trials, we learn steadfastness (James 1:2-4). And as we follow him, our hearts learn that he does all things for our good and His glory (Rom 8:28).

Keep your eyes on Him. Follow Him.

Prayer: Father, you are wise and good and generous. I confess that I often compare my life and the many blessings that you’ve given to me with less gratitude than I should. By your grace, grow in my heart, seeds of contentment and thankfulness. Give me the strength to follow you and you alone.


  1. Is there someone that you compare yourself to? What about that particular person? Is it their success? Their talents? Think about why. Then take time to thank God for how He has created them and for how He is using them.
  2. Take time to confess your sin of discontentment, jealousy, or whatever the Lord is laying on your heart.
  3. List the ways that God has been good and faithful to you. Meditate on His care for you.
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