“The truth is, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will direct you and take you where you don’t want to go.” - John 21:18
Discipleship not only involves a call, a commitment, and a commission; it involves a cost—the loss of our independence. Our responsibilities take hold of our rights and lead them to places we would not choose to go.
Jesus spoke of this to Peter. Peter was crucified upside down. That surely was not the way Peter would have chosen to die! But he had no choice. When we are truly his disciples, Jesus makes our choices for us.
The thing that matters most to us is freedom—to dress ourselves as we wish, to come and go when we please, and to use our hands to shape our own destiny. Yet in one sentence, Jesus told Peter that discipleship would cost him all these freedoms. Another will dress him; cruel men will force him to walk to a dreadful, inverted cross, where his hands will be stretched out and his freedom to hold his own destiny, crucified.
Not all of us will be called to glorify God by such a death. But we are certainly called to glorify God by our lives. Commitment costs. Yet we need to remember the cost will be rewarded with a crown. When Jesus had finished talking with Peter about this matter, he said to him, “Follow me” (John 21:19). Peter gave his choices into the hands of Jesus and obeyed. Will we?
For Further Study: John 21:15-23
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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