Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Mind Your Own Business! - John 21:20-24

Mind Your Own Business!
John 21: 20-24
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.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
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BlogFam, The Lord has just made clear to Peter his assignment for the Kingdom of God – to feed the lambs, to care for the sheep, and to follow Jesus.  Peter and Jesus have just had an intense exchange between the two of them and no one else was invited into the conversation.  No one else was given such a prophetic word about how their ministry would cost their life as it would Peter’s.  No one else dared interject their opinion about Jesus words, Peter’s response, or anything else in the exchange we just read in the previous verses. AND in our passage for today, Peter is feeling the pressure of his Kingdom assignment and He is now pointing the finger at another disciple asking –“What about him?”
Now, on one hand, one might think that with this question, giving Peter the benefit of doubt, perhaps he was simply showing concern for his fellow brother in Christ. Perhaps Peter was genuinely concerned about the ministry and commitment about the other disciple.  Perhaps Peter wanted to make sure Jesus did not forget that there were other disciples as well who could feed His sheep and take care of His lambs.  Perhaps Peter was trying to express that he needed help with this assignment or maybe that was Peter’s way of telling Jesus that he did not think he should be the only one who had to die for the sake of this righteous cause.  So he asks, a seemingly valid question, Lord, what about him?
Friends, if we are honest, we have many of the same concerns.  We want to know about the status of the other disciples in the Kingdom of God.  We want to know what their assignment is.  We want to know where they will be sent.  We want to make sure they have something to do.  We want to be clear that we are not the only ones.  We do not want the Lord to forget that there are other men and women who just might be willing and able to do exactly what He has called us to do. And so we ask the Lord, we ask ourselves, and if we are bold enough, we might just walk right up to those other saints and ask them – What about YOU?
When I was a child, as I have mentioned in the past, I was the oldest child and at the end of the day, I was held responsible for the actions of my siblings whether I was directly involved or not.  In addition to the weight of that responsibility, I was raised in a pretty conservative Christian home environment and so there were many things that were off limits for me that were privileges for some of my friends and classmates.  Thus, out of both of those experiences, I have asked Peter’s question a countless number of times.  When I was disciplined because of something my siblings did or when I was prevented from going places where others were going or wearing clothing that my friends and classmates were wearing, I asked myself, my parents, my God – WHAT ABOUT HIM or HER or THEM?
Now, there were moments when I was genuinely concerned about the well-being of the other person to whom I was comparing my own situation.  But, I also admit that the majority of the time, I asked that question because I recognized that the responsibility I carried or the limitations that were imposed, were different from my sister, my brothers, my friends, and my classmates.  I recognized that we were either around the same age or in the same household, or members of the same church, or lived in the same community, or went to the same schools. I recognized that there were so many similarities to our situations and I wanted to know why the same responsibilities or limitations appeared to be different for me than for them. I asked myself, my parents, my God – just as Peter asked about that other disciple -  WHAT ABOUT HIM or HER or THEM?
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?
You must follow me.”
In other words, Peter, Delesslyn, BlogFam, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!  Jesus basically informs Peter that the assignment I have given unto you is for you to focus on and how I choose to use others in my Kingdom is none of your business.  Your priority is to do what I have told you to do.  Your assignment is to follow me.  YES, you will die for my cause but how I choose to use this other disciple is NONE of your business especially if their seemingly lack of responsibility or limitations will distract you from how I want your life and ministry to unfold. 
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?
You must follow me.”
BlogFam, what is it to you that you do not know what the other disciples are called to do? What is it to you that you have different responsibilities to focus on?  What is to you that your assignment will demand that you are confined to certain limitations in your behavior for righteousness sake?  What is all of that to you? At the end of the day, the bottom line for all of us is Jesus final words in this Gospel, to Peter and to us, YOU MUST FOLLOW ME.
Friends, MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS...AND FOLLOW JESUS!  I am not saying that we should not care about others. I am not saying that we should not have a desire to see others active in the Kingdom of God. I am not saying that we should ignore opportunities to help others discover their gifts and how they can be used for the glory of God.  However, I am saying that we must be so intensely focused on our own assignment that the inactive participation of other disciples in the kingdom of God should not prevent us from moving forward in the ways we KNOW that the Lord has commanded us, called us, and commissioned us to serve.
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Peter, Mind your own business.  The ways in which I have called him or her to serve is my concern and not yours.  All I need for you to do is focus on following me in the ways I have just spoken.
BlogFam, The same applies to all of us.  If you do not know what your own assignment is, you have enough on your plate to figure that out.  If you do know what your assignment is, then it is time for you to get busy.  If you have already begun, then stay focused until the end.  If you have completed that assignment, then it is time for you to be in prayer about the next one.  All in all and through it all, FOLLOW JESUS and trust that whatever God has for the other disciples in our lives to do, to go, to have, to be as they, too, FOLLOW JESUS – TRUST that our God has ALL of our business under control.  Besides,What is that to you? MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!
God Loves You and I do too!
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