Jesus was crucified and died on the cross for the sins of mankind.Three days later, He was raised from the dead.
After He was resurrected, Jesus appearing to a group of His disciples while they were fishing from a boat.After coming ashore, they shared a simple breakfast with Jesus.Jesus then had a conversation with Peter, and told him that someday Peter would be crucified, just as Jesus was crucified.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.” John 21:18-19 (bold print added)
After Peter heard this, he saw the disciple John approaching, and Peter asked Jesus what John’s fate would be.To this question, Jesus replied:
“Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!” John 21:22 (bold print added)
Jesus’ answer sounds like a rebuke to Peter.We do not know for sure what is meant here, but it might mean that if Jesus wants John to remain living, it was none of Peter’s concern.Peter was told to follow Jesus, and not worry about what John’s fate may be.
The point I would like to discuss in this blog is what exactly did Jesus mean by saying “until I return”?
Some people believe that this means the Apostle John would not die until Jesus returns in the Second Coming.That cannot possibly be accurate because Jesus has not yet returned, and John is dead.He died as an old man in approximately 100 AD.
The Apostle John was the only Disciple that would not be cruelly martyred in the years after Jesus’ resurrection.When he was a very old man, he was exiled to the Greek prison island of Patmos.It was there that John had a supernatural experience.Read what happened to John:
“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstandsI saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Revelation 1:12-18 (bold print added)
Jesus, in His heavenly gloried state, came to John on the Greek Isle of Patmos in the year 95 AD.
I believe this is what Jesus was referring to when he said, “If I want him to remain until I come,”.
I believe Jesus was saying that John needed to be alive until Jesus came to him on Patmos to show John all the wonderful prophesies that John would then write down.These writings would become the Book of Revelation, which became the last book in the Bible.
Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for the sins of mankind.He is no longer on that cross.He is now glorified in Heaven, preparing an eternal home for all those who have accepted the free gift of His sacrifice on the cross, as payment for our sins.
Have you accepted Jesus as the Son of God?Have you invited Him to come into your life?Do you trust and obey Him in your daily life?Are you sure you are going to Heaven?Fix your eyes on Jesus today, and He will help you trust and obey Him.