The Lord tells Peter, “keep your eyes only on me.” Now where do you find that? Well notice what the Lord had said to Peter at the end of verse 19, “Follow me.” But what did Peter do? The next sentence says he turned and saw John. The Lord had said, “Follow me.” Peter turns and sees John. Peter is distracted about God’s will for John.
Think about it, here’s this big context of the Lord restoring Peter in love, calls him again to shepherd the sheep. Tells him how he’s going to die. And then the Lord says, “Follow me.” Wouldn’t that be enough for now?
Well apparently not, because Peter turns, and looks at John and says “Well, what about him?” Why did Peter do that? It may have been, if he realizes he’s gonna die, he was close to John, he wonders is this his fate to? “What are you gonna do with John? What about John’s future?” And Jesus in essence said, “What about John? Was talking about John? Is my business about John’s future your business?” or as we would say, “This is on a need to know basis and guess what? What is that to you, follow me”
See we’re called not to be distracted by others. Christ called us, especially by those we love and are closes to. We’re not to be distracted by others and their calling, and God’s will for them, their situations and Peter was distracted with a viewpoint, an attitude, nosiness, meddling, and wondering about what was not his business. How easy is it for people to become a distracting hindrance to our single eyed devotion. Our minds can so easily be on others paths more than our own path. If John’s future was Peter’s responsibility Jesus would have mentioned it to Peter. He did not say, “Peter here’s your new commission: love me, feed my sheep, die for me, and oh here’s information about John because you’re responsible for him also.” He didn’t say that. Jesus restores the fallen Peter, reaffirms his calling, and has to rebuke the nosy Peter.
Peter should leave all distractions alone because they weren’t his. “What is that to you? What business is that of yours?” And how often do we need to hear this. We say, “Well I don’t think that church over there is quite doing right. What’s that to you? You follow Christ.” “Well I don’t think they have the right view of which translation of the Bible to use. That it’s none of your business, you follow Christ.” “Well I think they’re too young to be going to the mission field.”
How much are we carnally curious about other people’s issues when we haven’t even fully dealt with our own, and we aren’t fully obeying Christ as to what He’s shown us to do. Jesus declines to satisfy Peters curiosity, it is no business of Peter’s of what is going to happen to John. Even if the Lord wills for John to stay alive, even do is return, why would Peter even need to know? He doesn’t need to know anything about John.
How much do we need to know about God’s purpose and will for others, even those were closes to? How much do we really need to know? Elders and pastors need to know. Church leaders need to know, more often times for the protection, but generally speaking how much do we need to know about God’s business and other people’s lives. What is that to you oh though nosy Christian! Mind your own business, keep to your own stuff.
You know, one of the greatest examples of this mistake is King Josiah. He reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. He became King when he was 8 years old. At 16, the Bible says he began to seek the Lord seriously. He began to seek the God of David. And he began purging Jerusalem of idols and carved images. One of the best kings in Israel’s history. In 2 Kings, in 2 Chronicles, it gives his record. He kept the Passover in Jerusalem, he appointed priests to their offices and encourage them in the service of the house of God. He put the Ark in the Temple that Solomon built. He cut down the alters of Baal, and he was present himself when those men cut those alters to Baal down, the Bible says. He told the priests, “Consecrate yourselves and prepare for your brothers to do according to the word of the Lord by Moses.” The singers, the sons of Asaph, were under Josiah’s leadership in Israel. And the Bible says, “There was no Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the Prophet.” summarizes Josiah’s life. The rest of the acts of Josiah and his good deeds are written in the book of the kings.
But you know what? Do you remember his major misstep? One big misstep cost him his life. He didn’t apostatize and worship the Baals. He didn’t love, like Solomon, a bunch of strange women and let them pull his heart away to false gods; like Solomon did. What did Josiah do? He didn’t mind his own business. He began meddling in affairs that weren’t his. He began to pick a fight with a dog, but the dog didn’t want to fight him. But he picked the fight and the dog had to fight him. Chronicles says after Josiah prepared the Temple, he heard about Neco the king of Egypt, who was going to war with someone over near the Euphrates river And it’s not Josiah’s business, it’s not his battle. He doesn’t have a bone to pick. Israel’s welfare is not at stake! But he couldn’t leave it alone. Josiah goes out to meet Neco, basically to pick a fight when Neco wasn’t coming to Israel. And the Bible says Neco sent messengers to Josiah. They said this, “What do we have to do with you O King? What do we have to do with each other? I’m not coming against you this day, but some one else. Listen, I’m in a hurry. Stop! Because God is with me. Lest He destroy you!” And here was Josiah’s mistake. The Bible says, “Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him he did not listen to the words of Neco, from the mouth of God, but instead he came to fight. And the archers shot Josiah and he died and was buried. And the Bible says, “All Jerusalem and all Judah mourned for Josiah, and Jeremiah the Prophet lamented his death. Neco was saying, “What is that to you? You worship Jehovah. What is that to you? This isn’t your fight. You’re not called to meddle here.” Watch meddling!
A dear favorite preacher of mine said one time: “Watch out for meddling, don’t meddle in what’s not your business! Don’t be concerned about stuff that’s not for you to fix.” You follow Christ! You stay focused on Him and don’t let people, even those you love the most, distract you from steadfast single-eyed obedience! “What is that to you, Peter? You follow Me.” And that’s the final thing the Lord said to him. Not only “Love Me, feed My sheep, die for Me, mind your own business – but “follow Me.” And the Lord says it twice here. “Follow Me!” And then at the end, He says: “You, follow Me. Just follow Me.” “Love Me, care for my sheep, follow Me, feed them, love them, watch out for them. Don’t let anyone mess with my Bride! Shepherd my sheep!