First Sunday after Easter – Thursday
What is that to thee? Follow thou Me. – John 21:22.
The risen Lord addressed also these words to Peter: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldst; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldst not.”
This He said to indicate to him by what death he would glorify God, namely, by the death of a martyr. And when He had spoken this, He said to him: “Follow me.” Peter was to follow His Lord unswervingly unto death, and Peter now was most willing to do so, in the strength of Jesus, not in his own strength.
Peter turned about, and seeing John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who also had leaned on Jesus’ breast at the Paschal Supper, and had said: “Lord, who is it that betrayeth Thee?” he said to Jesus: “Lord, and what shall this man do?” Peter wanted to know by what death shall this man (John) glorify God. Jesus said to him: “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou Me” (John 21:18-22).
Here take a lesson, my dear Christian! You are to follow Jesus lovingly and willingly; Jesus will love you and guide you as He wills, perhaps along rugged paths, but always for your eternal salvation. You are not to turn about and look at others and say: “If I am led so, how will these be led? Or if I must suffer so much, why not these, too?” It should be none of your concern how Jesus shall lead others. That is His concern, and not yours.
However, it ought to be your concern to willingly follow Jesus in His Word, ever remembering how He perfectly followed the heavenly Father’s will for your forgiveness, for your peace with God, and for your gift of everlasting life.
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, my dear Savior, crucified and risen for me, thanks to Thee for Thy great mercy in bringing me to be Thy disciple and follower. Give me a rich measure of faith, of love and of humility, that cheerfully and gladly I may follow the guidance and direction of Thy Word, without presumptuously questioning why Thou doest this or that, for I know, O Lord, that Thou leadest me “in the path of righteousness for [Thy] name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3b), ever working out all things for good in my life as one of Thy “branches” (John 15:5). Amen.
Jesus, lead Thou on, till our rest be won; and although the way be cheerless,
we will follow calm and fearless; guide us by Thy hand to our fatherland.
If the way be drear, if the foe be near; let not faithless fears o’ertake us;
let not faith and hope forsake us; for through many a woe, to our home we go.
When we seek relief from a long felt grief; when temptations come alluring,
make us patient and enduring; show us that bright shore, where we weep no more.
Jesus, lead Thou lead on, till our rest be won: heavenly Leader, still direct us;
still support, control, protect us; till we safely stand in our fatherland.
410, st. 1-4 (TLH)