Are you a good grocery shopper?
Don’t lie even though no one knows you’re reading this.
Is your spouse, significant other, or someone you live with a good grocery shopper?
Again, don’t lie! They don’t know that you’re reading this. Unless you’re reading it together and if that is the case then, I’m sorry.
One day I was at the grocery store buying groceries at the local Food Lion. I had several things placed on the register belt and the cashier was scanning and passing the groceries to the bagger.
Well I got the total of my groceries and paid without complaint.
The gentleman behind me was only purchasing coke products. There was two reasons why I noticed this. (1) Only men go into the store to buy just sodas. I know because I’ve done this several times. (2) I just purchased some coke products and felt they were priced a little high but didn’t say anything.
His checkout process went faster than I could get my buggy moved from the other side of the register so I heard the total price of his sodas and immediately knew it was cheaper than what I paid.
I turned to the cashier and complained.
I was hungry, in a new city, and HUNGRY!
You can imagine how Jesus I was to this lady. She took my complaints with a smile and simply said, “It doesn’t matter what he paid, you have to pay what the register tells you.”
Then my mind just went off!
I started thinking about how this wasn’t fair, how I deserved the cheaper price of the coke products too partly because I bought other groceries.
She could tell by my face I wasn’t happy with her answer.
She then said, “The reason the pricing for his sodas was different from your is because he had a Food Lion Card.” She then pointed to the big blue box right in front of me near the exit of the store that said, “Food Lion Card - Save Money Here.”
I was so distracted by what the gentleman behind me paid, that it took me away from my responsibility. I was so distracted by what the gentleman behind me paid, that I missed the place where I could experience the same savings as he did.
As a follower of Jesus this happens to me all the time regarding the mission God has given my life.
Maybe you’re more spiritually mature than me, but I would assume that you have been here too.
You see someone else’s life and think, “Well if I had that type of money, I would obviously follow after God” or “If I didn’t have this scary diagnosis then it would be easier to follow Jesus.”
We get distracted from the mission God gives us, that may be “difficult”, by someone else’s “easy” calling.
Peter’s Calling (John 21:15-17)
Jesus gave Peter a deep, meaningful, unique calling.
Nowhere else in the Bible do you see a calling like this.
Jesus told Peter to Feed My Lambs, Tend My Sheep, and Feed My Sheep.
Jesus wanted Peter to always be passionate about teaching the gospel to His people. He wanted Peter to teach the new follower of Jesus, the mature follower of Jesus, and to the person who didn’t know Jesus.
Peter’s Casualty (John 21:18-19)
However, because of his devotion to Jesus, Peter would face death.
Flashback - Peter denied Jesus three times.
As Jesus was being betrayed by Judas (one of the 12 disciples) Peter was asked three separate times if he knew Jesus and each time he denied Him.
Now, this is not recored in the Bible, but what if Peter didn’t denied Jesus three times? What if he said he knew Jesus?
Would Peter have been killed right then and there? Would Peter have been the fourth person on the mountain where Jesus was killed?
I’m not sure. However, I do think Peter was faced with the reality of his relationship with Jesus potentially costing him his life and and he ran from it.
Now Jesus is telling Peter of the day where he is faced with death because of following Jesus, and he will remain faithful.
Peter will accept a martyrs death. He would be faithful to Jesus this time, even to death.
Then Jesus simply says, “Follow Me.”
Peter’s Confusion (John 21:20-21)
Peter’s first reaction to this calling and mission on his life was not to accept it.
Peter’s first reaction to this deep, meaningful, unique mission wasn’t to respond to Jesus’s calling of “Follow Me.”
Peter’s first reaction was to turn around and look at John and ask, “What about this man?”
Peter was confused. Peter was distracted.
Peter was pulled away from what Jesus uniquely called him to because he was distracted by the potential of what Jesus was going to do with John.
Jesus’s Challenge (John 21:22)
Often times I find myself, in the midst of my confusion, waiting on God to make it clear.
I think, “I’m not going to do _________ until God clearly tells me.”
The problem with this is, I become paralyzed. I become a ball of inaction. I don’t act in any way in the name of Jesus.
Here, in the midst of Peter’s confusion, Jesus doesn’t teach him, he challenges him.
In Peter’s confusion Jesus didn’t comfort him, He challenged him.
In Peter’s confusion Jesus didn’t correct him, He challenged him.
Jesus’s challenge was, “You follow Me.”
This was completely different from all the other times Jesus said, “Follow Me.”
When Jesus was calling the 12 disciples to follow Him, they were invitations. These men could have taken the invitation or left it. They were not forced to follow Jesus. They chose to follow Jesus.
Biblical scholar, Merrill Tenney said, “The use of the second person pronoun [you] in Jesus’s command makes the statement emphatic: ‘You must follow Me.’”
If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, He isn’t presenting Himself to you again. He already did that and you accepted it.
He is telling us, “You must follow me”
Stop being distracted by someone else’s calling to where you don’t follow yours.
Vance Havner said, “We live in a strange world. Scientifically it is round; spiritually it is flat and it has never been more flat than it is now.”
It has never been more flat simply because those who follow Jesus are distracted from the mission God has uniquely given us.
Don’t be distracted. Accept the challenge. Walk in your mission.