John 20.3-5 cont.
3 The Peter and the other disciple went out and they came to the tomb.
4 Now the two ran together, but the other disciple, being quicker, outran Peter and came to the tomb first.
5 And stooping down he saw the linen bandages laying there, however, he did not go in.
In these verses there appears to be a little bit of friendly rivalry between John, the disciples whom Jesus loved, and Peter. There appears to be no apparent reason why John should mention that he outran Peter, other than to make it clear that he was either fitter or younger than Peter.
There are those within society, and the church, who would ban all forms of rivalry and competition. This philosophy invaded some of the schools within the UK, and consequently a number of schools banned games and sports, because they are competitive.
We know that there is a bad kind of rivalry, which occasionally spills over into the area of sport, which can cause grief to the participants.
However, friendly rivalry can be productive and healthy. The writer to the Hebrews recognized this and wrote:
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works – Hebrews 10.24 (NLT).
In these verses John is the only gospel to mention that he went to the tomb. Luke tells us that Peter went. Neither Mark nor Matthew records the disciples going to the tomb. However, John was an eye-witness of these events, and he knows that the two of them ran to the tomb. We are privileged to read John’s description of what he knew took place.
It is a blessing that all born again believers have a first hand account of meeting with Jesus, and it is something we should be eager to pass on to others, especially the next generation.
Peter, whom John beat to the tomb, encourages us all with these words:
You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it – 1 Peter 3.15 (NLT).
Are we prepared to give our first-hand account of our life with Jesus? It is not always easy to do so, therefore, it may be beneficial for us to write down the tremendous testimony that we have. Then when Jesus presents us with the opportunity to give testimony we will be ready.