There is more to the story of splinters and logs than meets the eye.
John 21:21-22 – Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Think for a moment about Jesus’ teaching concerning judging self before judging others; it’s the mote/log (splinter/log) issue. I remember a line from a song from the 1960’s by a famous entertainer. The line said, “Clean up your own back yard; you tend to your business, I’ll tend to mine.” Are we our brother’s keeper? Indeed, we are, but we must tend to our own business first. What business does one have giving advice or criticism to another on a topic about which one knows little or nothing?
In our Text for Today, Jesus had spoken to Peter about his demise. But just like so many of us, we seem to be more interested in the outcome of others than of ourselves. Peter saw John following Jesus and him, and asked about John’s demise. That’s when Jesus made the comment in our Text for Today. In a kind way, Jesus was saying to Peter, “What happens to John relating to this topic is none of your business. John is NOT your servant, but Mine.” Many people don’t like to think Jesus could be so blunt, but Jesus spoke truth in love, regardless of who the hearer was.
But that is the way it is with far too many believers. When someone speaks to us about our own life, responsibilities, and choices, especially if we don’t like their observations, we attempt to divert the attention from self and on to someone else. That is precisely what Peter did. He had just been the focal point of three strong corrections from the Lord, and he did not particularly care for what Jesus had indicated would be his final outcome in the earth. So, he attempted to divert the attention from himself to John.
My friend, too many believers still do the same thing today. When we find ourselves under the lens and light of correction, we like to divert the attention to someone else. Regardless of what someone else has done, whether it is a minor thing, or something far worse than we have done, diversion to them always makes it easier for us. I have learned in life that being in a sinking boat is much easier if others are in the boat with us. But in life, my friend, YOU are in YOUR boat, and I am in MY boat. I can’t bail water for you, and you can’t bail water for me. We must realize that if we are to be in the same boat, each one of us must focus on our task, our assignment, our position of service, and do our job. If each of us would do what we should, life and ministry would be so much more dynamic, successful, and joyful.
Manna for Today – John 21:20-25; Matthew 7:3-5; Luke 6:41-42