Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Jesus had a plan for Peter. He had established that Peter loved Him. And because Peter loved Jesus, he was to serve Him. Jesus also told Peter what his end would be. But he had a life to live in the meantime. And the key to that life lived for Jesus are those two simple words: “Follow me.” It is what Jesus had said the first time He encountered them on that sea after a night of fruitless fishing when He invited them along to become fishers of men. A lot had happened in the intervening years, but the call was still the same.
We are to follow Jesus with our lives. We let Him lead and choose the path, all the way up to the kind of end we will someday face. We seek His guidance and let Him teach us His ways. We go forth into our service to Him under His leading and authority. We take our place behind Him and trust Him with every part of our lives from beginning to end.
This is where John ends his gospel account of his walk with Jesus. Perhaps it was a sweet memory for him because it echoed that day he himself forsook all to follow Jesus, and he knew Jesus had a plan for him, too. And that is what John wanted for his readers—to see Jesus, to understand who He is, to trust Him, believe on Him, and forsake all to follow Him all the days of their lives. Both Peter and John proved that a life devoted to Jesus may not be easy, but it is worth every step.
God has a very detailed plan for each of us, and nothing that happens will be a surprise to Him. He has things that He wants us to accomplish. He wants us to live a certain way and develop the right characteristics that are becoming of a follower of Christ. But no matter where life takes us, may we be willing to keep our eyes upon our Lord and follow Him and His path for us. It may not be what we envision for ourselves, but let us simply trust Jesus with our lives as our stories unfold step by step.