‘What is that to you?’

From my quiet time this morning: Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.” (John 21:22 NLT)

Jesus had just given Peter some unpleasant news: “When you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don’t want to go.” It was a prophecy about the kind of death Peter would die to glorify God. Not content to ponder Jesus’ words to him, Peter had to know if John was going to suffer an unpleasant fate as well. He asked, “What about him, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.”

My Facebook newsfeed has run like a river of venom for several weeks. Far too many Christians have been obsessed with their political enemies. Some received very bad news yesterday, and I think I heard them asking, “What about him, Lord?”

His reply is for all of us: “What is that to you? You follow me.”

Regardless of how you cast your vote, this election has helped you see more clearly the very serious issues this country faces. We are plunging headlong into a crisis that may now be unavoidable. Some players are actually eager for the crisis, so they can use the excuse of “national emergency” to short-circuit the democratic process and impose their “solution” on the country.

We will be tempted to continue our obsession with politics, but the real crisis is in our homes and neighborhoods. Whether it’s next door or on the other side of the tracks, people are confused, hurting, and frightened. Many of them have no idea how to make their own way in life, much less cope with the crisis of economic collapse. You not only know how to make your own way, but you know the Way.

Jesus has tied the towel around his waist and is headed out the door. He is showing us how to love our neighbors the way we love ourselves, how to serve “the least of these.” Our part is to not worry about ourselves — the Father is taking care of our needs — and follow Jesus out into the street.

Don’t let yourself get sucked into the politics of crisis. Don’t obsess over the outrageous behavior of the politician du jour. Listen to the voice of Jesus: “What is that to you? You follow me.”

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About Mark Kelly

Jesus follower, Bible reader, husband/father/son/brother/uncle, rider, hiker, snapshooter
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