John 21.20-23 cont.
20 Having turned round Peter saw following them the disciple Jesus loved, the one who had reclined on His chest during supper, and who said: “Lord who is the one betraying You?”
21 Then Peter, seeing him, said (says) to Jesus: “Lord, but what about him?”
22 Jesus said (says) to him: “If I want him to remain here until I come, what is that to you? You must follow Me.”
23 Then this report spread among the brothers that that disciples would not die, but Jesus did not say that he would not die, but: “if I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”
It is clear from verse 22 that Jesus would have spoken about His return. However, John records very little information as to what Jesus said about His return. There is the teaching of Jesus about the end times, which we find in Mark 13, Luke 21, and Matthew 24.
We know that after His resurrection the disciples did ask Jesus this question:
“Lord, is this the time you are going to restore the Kingdom to Israel? – Acts 1.6.
The reply of Jesus is to tell them that the Father’s dates are not for them to know. He went on to teach them about the coming of the Holy Spirit.
There are only a few verses in the rest of the New Testament that contain teaching regarding the return of Jesus, with the exception of Revelation. Yet it is an event that was and continues to be a foundation stone of the Church of Jesus. Everyone who has received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour knows that Jesus is coming back, and we all look for this momentous event.
When Jesus was talking with Peter on the seashore He was directing his mind not to His return, but to the task that He was giving Peter to do.
W Barclay makes the point that John’s task was to be a witness to the things that Jesus did and said. This he did by writing his gospel.
Peter’s task was that of being an apostle to the Jews, whilst Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles.
We all have a task to do, which has been given to us by God. Not everyone can be an apostle, or a prophet, or an evangelist, or a pastor, or a teacher.
Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 12 that we are all members of the same body, and that the body needs all its individual members in order to function properly.
Most of the essential members of the body are hidden from view; all our internal organs cannot be seen, but the body would die if these internal organs ceased to work.
Likewise in the body of Jesus most parts may not be seen, but their effects are seen and are necessary for the body of Jesus to accomplish His commission to go out and make disciples.