“When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.'” — John 21:21-22
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In track meets, successful runners focus on the race in their own lane. They don’t want to be distracted. They don’t need to look to the side to see what kind of food people got from the concession stand, and they aren’t listening in on the chatter of the crowd. Wise runners listen carefully for the starting gun and keep their eyes on the finish line. Staying in their lane and focusing gives them the best opportunity for victory.
When Jesus instructed Peter about running his spiritual race, He told Peter to focus on one assignment: Peter’s duty was to give spiritual nourishment to as many people as possible, for as long as he lived. He was speaking about feeding God’s Word to people in an understandable way, and also by demonstrating the truths of the Bible by his lifestyle.
“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs'” (John 21:15). Jesus explained that sharing spiritual wisdom would be a demonstration of loving God.
In the same conversation, Peter questioned Jesus and turned to look outside his lane a little bit. He got distracted and started asking what John’s field of service would be. In response, Jesus rebuked Peter for losing focus and told Peter not to be a busybody or worry about others running their race.
“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?’) When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me'” (John 21:20-22). Peter eventually learned to be a reliable communicator of spiritual truth and millions of people have benefitted from his work.
Are you staying in your lane and keeping your eyes on Jesus? That’s the best way to run the race. When we do our best in the lane God placed us to run, we don’t need to worry about the rest.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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