18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)
21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
One of the most important lessons the “heroes” of the Bible teach us is that Jesus loves, and puts His trust in, people who aren’t perfect. Those Biblical giants also show us the effects of human nature on our relationship with Jesus by example. My next sentence changed after an early morning review of a question asked last Sunday; “What would it take for you to believe in Jesus Christ as the King? a
I was going to write “I think it’s pretty safe to assume Peter’s recognition of his need resulted in growth and faith.” Instead it’s become the far more complex option “I think it’s pretty safe to assume Peter’s recognition of Jesus resulted in his need for growth and faith.”
The first option infers that Peter’s recent vows were all it took to overcome his human nature and result in growth and faith. The second version is God’s truth that Jesus’s choice for Peter was a relationship with Him that would overcome human nature and make Peter’s vows a reality of growth and faith. Salvation is the Lords, but human nature is a challenge that lasts a lifetime.
It only took a few verses between Peter’s vows and Jesus’s responses for Peter’s human nature to kick back in with his defensive response in verse 21; “Lord, what about him?” My mind is blown by how easily human nature can become our baseline of growth and faith. But my heart is relieved to remember by the Grace of God we recognize that what it would take to believe in Jesus Christ as the King – is a resurrection!