Holy Spirit

20 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?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. ~John 21:20-25
 
The waves, lapping upon the shore, reflect the rising sun. The fire is smoldering now, as the apostles clean up. Simon Peter and Jesus have just finished their incredible exchange. Just as the day was renewed, Peter was renewed. He was now redeemed, he was now restored, and he'd been given a new directive... "Follow me." He also has a glimpse of how he will die for the sake of the gospel.
 
He and Jesus walk along the shore, but the conversation isn’t quite over. At least not for Peter. He turns around, his gaze finding John. He asks Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”   
 
It sounds like a natural question, given the gravity of their conversation. Would all those who follow Jesus die a martyr's death? Would such a death bring a mark of personal greatness? Was he the only one destined for a harsh end? Peter wanted to know. The reprimand he received for his question may have shaken him.
 
Jesus responds, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 
 
Apparently, Peter was on a need-to-know basis, and Jesus told Peter he doesn’t need to know. Instead, the Lord reminded him of his mission.
 
We can relate to Peter. Inquiring minds want to know, right? We especially care where our Christian ministry will take us. Will it be as powerful as others? Our nosiness is not really welcomed by our Lord. After all, we aren't omniscient or all-knowing. It isn't for us to know it all.
 
Jesus, in his exchange with Peter, set the pattern for his followers. His will for us is to simply proclaim a great God, who loves us so much he sent his beloved Son to die for us. It is in doing the will of God that the Kingdom grows. We are to follow Jesus.
 
Reggie McNeal puts it beautifully in his book, "Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders.”
 
"Genuinely great spiritual leaders do not do what they do for themselves or even as a way to become recognized as great leaders. The end game for spiritual leaders is about expanding the kingdom of God. They pursue greatness because they are passionate about God and about helping other people experience the life God intended for them to enjoy. In the end, great spiritual leaders are not interested in calling attention to themselves. They point people to a great God.”
 
Peter eventually became a mighty warrior for God, and was crucified for the sake of the gospel, in Rome under Emperor Nero. He followed, and God made him a "genuinely great spiritual leader." He had pointed countless lost souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He had learned along the way that there was no place for ego or personal greatness in that crusade. There was only Jesus--all powerful, all knowing, always present, forgiving, loving, and fully divine. Those who follow, God will use them to lead.
 
Join us Sunday as we conclude our series, “Seaside with The Savior," and celebrate that special days where your promise to send the Holy Spirit was fulfilled at Pentecost.
 
Dear Lord, 
 
Thank you for your patience with all of us. Use us, Lord Jesus. to lead people to you that they might know peace beyond understanding. We love you, Jesus, but thank you for loving us first.
 
AMEN