August 28, 2005 Sermon: What is That to You? Follow Jesus
Scripture: John 21: 20-23
Sermon delivered by Assistant Pastor Mark Porter
In our Christian journey, it is our devotion, dedication and desire to keep our eyes focused on Jesus even though we have trials, tribulations and troubles in our way. It’s very important for us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
In our text this morning, Peter – the one with the hot temper, one of the 12 – had problems keeping his eyes on Jesus. Remember when Jesus came up to the fishermen that had fished all night long and caught nothing? Jesus told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. Peter said “depart from me for I am a sinful man”. The same Peter that was on the ship that was being tossed and driven during the storm. Jesus came to them from the shore – walking on the water. Peter said “Lord if that be you, bid me to come to you”. Jesus told him to come. Peter started walking on the water towards Jesus, but he took his eyes off Jesus and started to sink.
In the text this morning we see the same Peter. Jesus had a private conversation with Peter and said “if you really love me, feed my sheep”. He told Peter to “follow thou me”. After he had the conversation with Peter, he talked to another disciple. Peter asked if this other disciple was the one that was going to betray him. We see once again Peter taking his eyes off Jesus. Jesus had to tell Peter not to worry about John following them, if he follows us, what is that to you? That’s what we need to do today – don’t worry about the others, just worry about having Jesus in our lives.
We have “taters” in our church family. Agitators always dipping in our business, always stirring up mess. Commentators always sit back and try to find fault with somebody else when they need to clean up their own lives. Dictators think they know everything and nobody is right but them. Spectators sit back and let others do everything.
Jesus is asking you the same question he asked Peter “what is that to thee?” Just stay out of my business because you don’t know what God is doing in my life.
What happens when you take your eyes off Jesus? When Peter looked back and saw the one whom Jesus loved, which was John, he appears to have just a sense of jealousy. Jealousy is a cousin to envy. Both are negative desires. Be careful of envying other people and what they have because you don’t know what they had to go through to get what they have. Jesus might be keeping you where you are because you are not ready for any more yet. Don’t hate, congratulate.
The Bible says envy is rotten to the bone. When something is rotten, it stinks. Sometimes you can’t cover up the jealousy and envy; you just have to throw it out. Get it out. You have to be careful. People try to get in your business by saying they will pray for you. Once you confide in them for prayer, they get on the “hellaphone” spreading it. Beware of the rumors. Peter described rumors in I Timothy 5:13. Speaking things they ought not. Rumors are the result of gossip.
That reminds me of a story I heard. There were 3 deacons and a preacher camping. They decided to have a confession – telling their faults in their life. The first deacon said “I’m a liar”. The second deacon said “I’m a cheater”. The preacher said “I’m a whoremonger”. The third deacon said “I’m a gossiper and I’m going to tell on everybody”. Be careful of what you say around folks, they will go tell it all – what you said and what you didn’t say.
Be like Jesus, don’t worry abut what others are doing, just follow Jesus. Let the Lord take care of it. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord. Fall down on your knees and pray to the Lord. Get your life right with the Lord. Don’t look to the right or to the left. Keep your eyes focused on the Lord. Keep your eyes focused on the cross. Keep your eyes focused on the hills from whence cometh your help. Just keep your eyes on Jesus.