June 24, 2019- Jesus Loves You, MYOB (sometimes), Follow Me (always)… John 21:20-25, 1 Corinthians 10:31-33

 

business

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”  When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”  Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”  So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:20-25 (ESV)

The disciples, like us, were human beings subject to sin (also like us.)  There had to be a moderate degree of tension between Peter and John upon Jesus’ return, especially because John had to know not just that Judas betrayed Jesus unto death, but also Peter denied Jesus three times.

Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.” Luke 22:34 (ESV)

And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” Luke 22:61 (ESV)

Peter was wondering about John’s position with Jesus.  Rumor had had it that John was going to be around until the Second Coming.  There had to be a small bit of jealousy going on there, otherwise Jesus probably wouldn’t have been as quick to tell Peter to mind his own business, at least as far as what happens to John.

John did outlive the other disciples, and was the only one of the Twelve to die of natural causes, at the age of 90+, but John did, in fact die.

It’s easy to look around and wonder about “What is going to happen to so-and-so?,” or “Why doesn’t God use me for _____?” or even to speculate on the worthiness or unworthiness of another person.

Jesus told Peter to MYOB when it comes to John and what John will do and where John will go.

It can be hard to mind our own business when we should be minding our own business. As the apostle Paul taught regarding the body of Christ- if everyone were an eye, where would the hearing be? God puts each of us in the places we are with different vocations.  Paul talks about the diversity of the body of Christ at length in 1 Corinthians 12.

It truly isn’t our business to wonder why this person ended up in a place that seems “cushy” or “privileged” to us.  We don’t know the back story.  We don’t know why God chooses one person to live 100 years and another to live two.  We don’t know why we fit in the tapestry of God’s kingdom in the place we are assigned.

Minding our own business is not about ignoring the needs of others, but about not being jealous of others, about not coveting others’ positions and stations in life.  It is about being content with our vocation and concentrating on the mission we have right in front of us.

Most of us are not called to be missionaries or millionaires, but all of us are called to live out our daily vocations with the knowledge that serving our neighbors is really serving God.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.  1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (ESV)

December 27, 2017 What’s It to Ya?, MYOB… John 21:20-25, 1 Corinthians 12:14-21

cain and abel

 

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” John 21:20-25 (NRSV)

“What’s it to ya?”

“MYOB!”

Anyone who has been around groups of children has heard both of these phrases. When giving gifts to children (or even to dogs…) it can be difficult to do so in a manner that is perceived as being fair to everyone.  Children- and dogs- seem to have radar for someone else getting something they didn’t.  This disparity is always noticed, often complained about, and sometimes fought over.

Our discontent over someone else getting what we thought we deserved can lead to tragic consequences. Cain killed Abel because he was angry that God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice but not with his.  Wars and conflicts over the centuries have been ignited and sustained over one group of people believing that they deserved something that belonged to another group.  Jealousy and envy are deadly to a harmonious society.  We want what we don’t have, and we envy the other guy who does have it.

The Kingdom of God is not a democracy, and there is not perfect equality. We may wonder at times why God gives what we consider to be greater gifts to others, or even if God loves us as much as He loves so and so.  Yet sometimes we need to step back and MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) and pay attention to our own role and purpose in God’s kingdom without worrying about what the other guy has or doesn’t have.  It is good to thank God for His blessings and know that He is our provision. He is always right on time.  He knows our needs and heart’s desires better than we know ourselves.  As the great theologian Mick Jagger once noted– “You can’t always get what you want/ you can try sometimes/ you just might find/ you get what you need.” God doesn’t always provide what we think we want, but in the end, and in the context of eternity, He gives us what we need.

Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.  If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-21 (NRSV)

Everyone is given a unique purpose and mission by God. The apostle Paul compares these unique roles to the specific parts of the body.  Not everyone can be an eye or a hand.  Someone has to be an ear or a foot.

One thing we can be sure of is that God equips us for the mission He gives us. Sometimes our roles change.  Sometimes what we think is God abandoning us or failing to love us is really our inability to see the whole picture, or that at times we are blinded by our own suffering and pain. We don’t see what God sees. We don’t always know what God is preparing us for in trials, or whose lives we were sent to influence and bless. We may not understand why some people go through great hardships and suffering, while others seem to dance through life with every possible blessing.  What other people have or don’t have is between them and God. We are called to focus on God’s will for us and how we are to let Him work in and through us- including through our trials and hardships and suffering- for the sake of others.

The Babe in the manger came to earth for the salvation of humanity and the redemption of all creation. Every role in His story is important and every child of God is named, claimed, wanted and has a purpose in God’s kingdom.  Our business is very much God’s business!