Lord, what about him? | John 21.20-21
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?” John 21.20-21 | ESV
The Rock turns his head and sees that perennially favored disciple of Jesus following along too – you know, the one who leaned back on Jesus at that final meal together and whispered those words, “Lord, who is your betrayer?” Yes, the Rock sees him, and so he inquires – perhaps with a bit of a complaining tone (or was it concern?): “Lord, what about him?” MAV
I believe this is the first time in this Jesus encounter that Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and he looks at his brother. I think it made Jesus smile, too.
“What about him?”
Ah, that consumes us through so much of our lives! So hard to let go. Comparisons, critiques, carping. What about his sin? What about her flaws? So I have to endure this, and what about him, then? Even when we don’t grow up with siblings, we never quite live without a healthy (or unhealthy) dose of sibling rivalry. It’s the human condition.
And it usually masquerades as righteous care or genuine concern.
Oh how we are compelled to be our brother’s keeper in all the worst ways! And generally it’s a search for our own significance which we hope to find in our comparisons with others – comparisons that typically lead to a diminishing of them so there can be an embellishing of ourselves.
Maybe none of this was at work in Peter, maybe it was just curiosity.
Maybe it was concern over John’s fate.
But I know me. I tend towards the other, and I at least like to imagine I’m not the only one (ha! comparison! again!).
Oh for the grace to look at each other for the right reasons, free of envy and self-centered, self-pitying comparisons; to look at one another on his cue because of shared connection through his ever expanding heart that embraces the heart and fortunes of us all.
Is there someone whose status you’ve perhaps been a bit too obsessed with lately? What’s the key to quitting the comparison game we all so easily start playing?
Lord, forgive me for looking over my shoulder at my brother, my sister, for all the wrong reasons. Let me lose myself in your gaze so that I might truly find myself seeing others as they are, when your eyes lead me there. And let my gaze be as healing as yours. Through Christ.