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A Simple Request

Today's Devotional

If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me. John 21:22

“Please clean the front room before you go to bed,” I said to one of my daughters. Instantly came the reply, “Why doesn’t she have to do it?”

Such mild resistance was frequent in our home when our girls were young. My response was always the same: “Don’t worry about your sisters; I asked you.”

In John 21, we see this human tendency illustrated among the disciples. Jesus had just restored Peter after he’d denied Him three times (see John 18:15–18, 25–27). Now Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me!” (21:19)—a simple but painful command. Jesus explained that Peter would follow Him to the death (vv. 18–19).

Peter barely had time to comprehend Jesus’ words before he asked about the disciple behind them: “What about him?” (v. 21). Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” Then He said, “You must follow me” (v. 22).

How often we’re like Peter! We wonder about the faith journeys of others and not what God is doing with us. Late in his life, when the death Jesus foretold in John 21 was much closer, Peter elaborated on Christ’s simple command: “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:14–15). That’s enough to keep each of us focused on Jesus and not on those around us.

How are you tempted to compare your faith walk with others? How will you keep your focus on Jesus today?

Heavenly Father, please continue to conform me into the image of Your Son. 


After His resurrection, Jesus remained on earth for forty days before ascending into heaven. During this time, He “proved to [his disciples] in many ways that he was actually alive” (Acts 1:3 nlt). The New Testament records some eleven post-resurrection appearances of Christ. The risen Jesus met with different people for different reasons. He had unfinished business with all His disciples. The Passover weekend was a traumatic one for them, and every disciple had “deserted him” (Matthew 26:56). In fact, Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times (John 18:15-27), but Christ restored him (21:15-19). His disciples needed to be forgiven, restored, reinstated, and recommissioned to do God’s work.

By |2024-01-11T01:33:19-05:00January 11th, 2024|
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