August 13, 2017
What About Him? (The sin of comparison)

What About Him? (John 21:15-23)
• Today let’s focus in on two questions in this passage. Jesus’s questions to Peter, and Peter’s question to Jesus.
• Jesus asks the first question, “Do you truly love me?” (NIV)
o Many translations render it “Do you love me more than these?”
 In the Greek the word is “these” and there is some ambiguity.
• That ambiguity may be intentional on Jesus’ part.
o Jesus is probably referring to the other disciples, or do you love me more than they do?
o Jesus may also be referring to other things, perhaps Jesus was referring to the fish.
 This would have been meant to symbolize Peter’s livelihood of fishing.
• Jesus gets to ask this question because he has already proven His love by dying on the cross.
• Jesus is beginning the process of restoring Peter, and this whole scene is about grace, love, and restoration.
First, people and relationships.
o Jesus is asking do you love me more than these other disciples, or more than they do?
• Are there human relationships that interfere and take away from our love and relationship with Jesus?
Second, work, occupation, money
o Jesus may also have been referring to the fish and therefore Peter’s job as a fisherman.
o We all know that work certainly has a way of interfering with our relationship with Jesus.
• Let’s look at John 21:1-5. The answer to scarcity is always Jesus.
Third, persecution/difficulty
o It was after all persecution that caused Peter to disown Jesus three times.
o And just like Peter, we often allow persecution or difficulty to interfere with our love for Jesus.
Continuing: Jesus restores Peter three times because Peter disowned Jesus three times.
• The third time Peter is hurt by the question because he doesn’t see or understand the powerful thing that Jesus is doing through this restoration process.
Verses 18-19 In these two verses Jesus tells Peter what kind of persecution and death he will suffer.
• But then Jesus says follow me. The only path through this is to follow Jesus closely.
Verse 20 Now we see Peter’s question. It is a question of comparison.
• Jesus’s question was one of love. Rooted in grace and pushing toward restoration.
• Peter’s question is one of comparison. Rooted in fear, scarcity, and lack of trust.
Verses 22 When Jesus says, “If I want him to remain alive until I return” He is saying I have the power to do that.
• When Jesus says, “what is that to you,” He is basically saying, it’s not for you to know about this other guy.
• Jesus ends with, “You must follow me,” Jesus is getting Peter to focus not on his own relationship with God.
o This is a word to all of us. We each must follow Jesus, for ourselves.
o We should also not and cannot compare ourselves with others.