Summary: Peter, mind your own business
Sermon Jn 21. 19-25
In our Gospel reading today, Peter asks Jesus what is going to happen to the Apostle John, one to the two Sons of Thunder, one of Jesus’ inner circle of three.
And stunningly, Jesus rebukes Peter and basically tells him to mind his own business.
I wonder why Peter asked the question, because John’s Gospel doesn’t tell us why he did.
Perhaps Peter was simply being nosy. Peter wants to use his privileged position to find out about others.
Peter didn’t NEED to know what was going to happen to John.
As Bruce Milne in “The Message of John” puts it on page 319
“The personal relationship with the Lord and the individual Christian, including the future form and sphere of their service, the degree of their obedience or the quality of their contribution is “Holy ground” .
And if you do, you may well get a similar rebuke
Story: I had a similar experience back in November 1993, when a world-famous Charismatic Evangelist came to Basle.
I had, by this time, been involved in grounding two Charismatic Churches in Basle and had never been a fan
of those who preached the Prosperity Gospel.
My friend Marcus had been one of the co-Cordinators of this man’s mission and was disillusioned by what had gone on.
One story he told me was of the Evangelist’s extravagant lifestyle. The Evangelist and his entourage had stayed in the most expensive hotel in Basle, the Drei Koenige for the Mission.
Then at two o’clock one morning, he ordered a banquet for his team and himself. I was also outraged at the waste of his supporters money in this style.
Marcus went on to say that the Evangelist had one night told one of the staff at the venue to crank up the air conditioning so the air flow would increase.
Then he told his audience to hold up their hands in the air – so they could feel the moving of the Holy Spirit among them.
I planned to write an article denouncing this hypocritical behaviour – as I saw it.
As I was about to start writing this negative article, I felt the Lord speaking to me.
“ He is my servant not yours and I will deal with him as I will. It is not your business!”
I felt very much put in my place!!!!
If you are anything like me, you will find it easy to pass judgement on others especially when it is bad news – but it is so often NOT our business.
Rather than speaking Bad News- just pray for the person
But if you want to pass on news about others then let it be GOOD NEWS, because passing on BAD NEWS can simply makes us feel morally superior.
So I would like to do this this morning. I’d like to tell you of two recent GOOD NEWS stories.
Story: Just recently I heard of a bus being hijacked by ISIS terrorists in Kenya.
They told the Muslims to separate themselves from the Christians so they could kill the Christians.
To their eternal credit, the Muslims on the bus refused and told them the terrorists that you will have to kill us too because they are our brothers and sisters from whom we will not be separated.
And as they said did this, they handed the Christians articles of Muslim attire so they became indistinguishable from the Muslims in the bus.
The terrorists were so amazed that they got off the bus and left without killing a single person. Let’s give credit where it is due!!
The second story I would to share is the Queens speech given a couple of days ago on Christmas Day (2015).
We have heard the media pushing that we are no longer a Christian country and so we need to get rid of the Bishops in the House of Lords.
Now the Queen’s Speech on Christmas Day is all of her own making. This is the one speech that the Prime Minister does not tell her what to say. Here you get the real Queen coming through.
I am sure that those of you who heard it will have been thoroughly impressed by the fact that she put such an emphasis on her Christian faith:
Let me read you some excerpts from it.
The Queen said:
"Many people say the first Christmas after losing a loved one is particularly hard.
"But it's also a time to remember all that we have to be thankful for.
"It is true that the world has had to confront moments of darkness this year, but the Gospel of John contains a verse of great hope, often read at Christmas carol services:
'The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it'.