LEARNING TO BE A LEADER CAN BE HARD – PART THREE
No doubt, by now the other disciples were wondering what Jesus and Peter were talking about. Our Lord knew that He was placing the future of what He had started in the hands of a very few dedicated followers, but was about to reveal that a real struggle existed between Peter and John. Jesus goes on to tell Peter that although he has always been known an assertive individual who frequently got his way, the day was coming when he would be treated like an invalid; stretching out his arms as someone else dresses him and carries him off against his will. Later this was interpreted as signifying the kind of death Peter would experience.
After saying this, Jesus turned to walk on and asked Peter to continue walking with him. At this point, Peter peered back over his shoulder to see what the other disciples were doing and noticed that John was now following closely behind them. John had become known as Jesus’ most trusted disciple. When He needed His disciples to prepare for the Passover Meal, He sent Peter and John to find a place to set up the meal. No doubt John took the role as the lead man in this effort. During their last supper, it was John who bent over and whispered in Jesus’ ear, asking Him to reveal the secret of who would betray Him. While hanging on the cross, Jesus instructed John to become the provider and protector for His mother Mary.
As soon as Peter saw John following them, he turned back to Jesus and was somewhat aggravated by John’s curiosity. Perhaps he interpreted John’s curiosity as jealousy; after all, John always wanted to know what was going on; always wanted to be first in finding out Jesus’ thoughts, after all, didn’t John outrace Peter to the grave so he could get there first after Mary revealed that Christ had risen? If Peter took Jesus’ thrice repeated question as an oath of office in becoming the leader of the disciples, he may have had reason to worry that John may challenge him?
In any case, Peter looked back at John who was staring at him wanting to know what the two of them had been talking about. In light of the special relationship Jesus had with John as His most trusted aide and loyal supporter, and no doubt nodding in John’s direction Peter asked Jesus quite suspiciously, “Lord, what is his in all this role going to be?” Jesus quickly answered, “What does that have to do with you? If I want him to live until I come again that’s my business; all I’m asking is whether or not you are willing to obey me and do what I’m asking you to do?”
What a wonderful lesson we see in this very personal story about Jesus and two of His disciples that He depended on and dearly loved. Why do we get so uptight about how others are serving the Lord? Why do we want to be treated better and received more favor from God just because we think we are doing a better job? Some people never carry out the task given to them by the Lord because they are so upset and preoccupied and frustrated with how others were doing their assignment while getting all the attention. Like a boy who is arguing with his father because his little brother is not wearing any shoes and so he doesn’t want to wear any either. Never mind that his little brother is inside the house running around on the carpet while his father is taking him outside to walk on the hot sidewalk.
If the Lord were to query you regarding your commitment to Him and His will and purpose for your life, would you give Him an answer similar to Peter’s response? If He were to ask for an unconditional commitment would you have to admit that up until now you were a great admirer of His and were in a friendly relationship, but nothing on the level of being willing to lay down your life for His cause? That is an honor only worthy of those who are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty; not to receive a prize or be granted certain perks that others do not enjoy, but as an example of doing for others what Christ did for you in order to glorify and honor your Lord and Savior; your Master and Redeemer; your Messiah and soon coming King. If not, you are not cut out to be a leader. – Dr. Robert R Seyda