Have you ever poked your nose in someone else’s business only to regret it?
There are people in our lives who make it their business to get into the business of others. The result is seldom productive, usually it is destructive and only makes living life worse.
Christians need to learn the lesson Jesus taught Peter. The lesson Jesus taught Peter is critical to the success and credibility of all Christians. Learning this lesson early in life will result in a happier life.
The lesson is found in John 21:18-23. Jesus had already been crucified, buried, and has arisen from the dead. More than 500 people witnessed Jesus after his resurrection. This is one of the many interactions Jesus had with His disciples and others prior to His accension to heaven.
Peter and other disciples had been out on the Sea of Galilee fishing, having caught nothing for their long night of work, they headed into shore. Jesus appears on the scene and we are given a glimpse into a core principle taught for Christians. I call it the “mind your own business” lesson.
Jesus said to Peter, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you and bring you where you do not wish to go.”
Jesus was telling Peter what kind of death Peter would experience to glorify God. Peter turns around and seeing another apostle (John) said to Jesus. “Lord, and what about this man?” It is like Peter had no interest in what Jesus was saying about him, he was more focused on what would happen with John.
Jesus responded to Peter saying, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” Pressing the point and making the lesson stick, Jesus said, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?” (John 21:18-23). “Follow Me!” Jesus said. Jesus said this to Peter but He is also saying this to us. Are we so involved in the business of others that we are missing out on God’s work in our lives?
Peter was an outspoken, a strong, and physical man, I have no doubt he cussed, and when things did not go right for him, he had a temper. But this was Peter before his conversion and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Being saved and filled with God’s Holy Spirit does not mean a person is perfect, indeed each person will struggle with things of the past, temptations, and will fall short in one way or another. Peter struggled with people who were not Jewish Christians.
Very early in his life as an apostle, Peter believed that salvation was only for Jews. Peter had a vision about and then a personal experience with Cornelius, a Roman centurion (Acts 10) which taught him that Salvation was for everyone.
God’s grace is unending and He has a plan and purpose for every person. When we focus on others and their business and what they are or are not doing, we lose out on what God is doing for ourselves.
The lesson for Peter, you and I is to stay focused on what God has for our individual lives. Stay out of other's people’s business. As Jesus said to Peter, “What is that to you?”