Day 32: Three’s a crowd

LoveSingapore // August 1, 2019, 12:01 am prayer day 32

Photo courtesy of LoveSingapore

Bible reading for 40.DAY 2019 | August 1: John 21:20-22

Jesus takes Peter for a walk.

This must have been hard for John. He and Peter were the best of friends. They were business partners in the past. They are frequently paired in the Gospels and Acts. For example, they prepared the last Passover for Jesus. And on Easter morning, they raced each other to the empty tomb.

Poor John. He had always been with Peter and James in the inner circle of Jesus. But now he sees Jesus and Peter walking together on the beach without him. He can’t help tagging behind.

How many of us have learned to walk alone as a single, solitary, individual disciple of Jesus? Few.

And Peter, ever the manager, tries to draw him in. Jesus had just told Peter how he would die. Now Peter wants to know about John: Lord, what about him?

Jesus’ answer is striking and compelling. What is that to you? You follow Me. In other words: Mind your own business.

Jesus almost always addresses the disciples as a community. But here in John 21:22, the Greek pronoun for you is emphatically addressed to Peter alone: YOU follow Me!

This is extraordinary. What does it mean?

On the one hand, discipleship is a communal affair. We worship, work, and walk together in the footsteps of Jesus. We hold each other accountable. We are disciples-in-community. Okay, we get that.

But what many of us don’t get is that discipleship is also an intensely individual and personal affair. Ultimately you walk alone with Jesus. Sometimes into dark and scary places where you don’t want to go.

You stretch out your hands. You take up your cross and bear it alone. Jesus bore your sins, not your cross.

How many of us have learned to walk alone as a single, solitary, individual disciple of Jesus? Few.

For God’s glory, be the distinct disciple Jesus calls you to be.

Most of us jostle with the crowd. We push and pull for human praise. We posture and pose for validation and limelight. We crave and clamour for likes on social media. We follow the herd instead of the Shepherd.

Lord, what about him? What about her? None of your business! The Lord says: YOU follow Me!

However, if you want to be loathsome to God, just run with the herd (Søren Kierkegaard).


  • Raw and real. For God’s glory, be the distinct disciple Jesus calls you to be. Reflect on this good read extracted and adapted from a blog by John Piper:
    Jesus’ words to Peter may be paraphrased as, ‘None of your business, you follow Me!’ Blunt words. But sweet to my ears. They set me free from the depressing bondage of fatal comparing.
    Sometimes when I scan the ads in Christianity Today, I get discouraged. I find this avalanche of ministry suggestions quite oppressing. 
    Book after book, conference after conference, dvd after dvd – telling me how to succeed in ministry.
    And all of them quietly hinting that I am not making it. Worship could be better. Preaching could be better. Evangelism could be better. Pastoral care could be better. Youth ministry could be better. Missions could be better.
    And here is what works. Buy this. Go here. Go there. Do it this way. So I was refreshed by Jesus’ blunt word to me (and you): What is that to you? You follow Me!
    Peter had just heard a very hard word. You will die – painfully. His first thought was comparison. What about John? If I have to suffer, will he have to suffer? If my ministry ends like that, will his end like that?
    That’s the way we sinners are wired. Compare. Compete. Complain. We crave to know how we stack up alongside others. We get a perverted kind of high when we observe that someone else is less effective than we are.
    Ouch! To this day, I recall the little note posted in Elliot Hall in my senior year at Wheaton: ‘To love is to stop comparing.’
    What is that to you, Piper? Follow Me.
    What is it to you that David Wells
    [or Roland Chia] has such a comprehensive grasp of the pervasive effects of post-modernism? You follow Me. What is it to you that Voddie Baucham [or Edmund Chan] speaks the Gospel so powerfully without notes? You follow Me.
    What is it to you that Tim Keller
    [or Chris Chia] sees Gospel connections with professional life so clearly? You follow Me. What is it to you that Don Carson [or Robert Solomon] reads 500 books a year and combines pastoral insight with the scholar’s depth and comprehensiveness? You follow Me.
    That word landed on me with great joy. Jesus will not judge me according to my superiority or inferiority to anyone else. No preacher. No church. No ministry. These are not the standard.
    Jesus has a work for me to do (and a different one for you). It is not what He has given anyone else to do. There is a grace to do it. Will I trust Him for that grace and do what He has given me to do? That is the question. What is your answer?
  • Journal your prayer response. Let it be a deep conversation between you and Jesus. A spiritual milestone that marks your life forever as His distinct disciple.

Read the devotional from Day 31, July 31: Come and die here

About the author


Founded in 1995, LoveSingapore is a unity movement motivated by love, fuelled by prayer, and inspired by a common vision: God's greatest glory seen through a life changed, a church revived, a nation transformed, and a world evangelised.