“But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” vs. 18b
We’re not sure who it was that added this chapter to the gospel of John but we can be glad that they did. Not only does it give us insights into the nature of the resurrection, it’s a reminder of the cost of discipleship. We know from the other gospels that Peter had been elevated to a position of leadership by Jesus and that he was one of the inner core of disciples. We also know about his three-fold denial of Jesus in the high priest’s courtyard. It could have been that some in the early community held this against Peter. If that’s the case, his three-fold declaration of love for Jesus in this chapter would have gone a long way toward rehabilitating his reputation. Of course that’s all speculation, but what we do know is that Peter did become a respected leader in the early communities of believers, and that, like Jesus, he suffered death by crucifixion. Some traditions also hold that he was the first pope and that his death took place in Rome. Whatever missteps he might have made as he walked in the Way were certainly erased by his single-minded devotion to the resurrected Christ. He was so convinced of the new life in Christ that he took up his cross and spent the rest of his days tending the sheep of the Good Shepherd.
Thought for the Day: What do you imagine that Peter was like?