What Jesus Did! 'Follow Me' — John 21:18-19

Thursday, December 29, 2022

[Jesus said to Peter,] "I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don't want to go." Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, "Follow me."
— John 21:18-19 NLT

Key Thought

There was a time when Peter thought he was ready for anything. [1] He wasn't. Jesus told him so. Peter argued with Jesus. [2] Jesus was right, of course. But Peter had now been humbled by his own failure and then realized that the course of discipleship begins with humility. He was ready to follow, even if his path would lead to his own death in a way similar to Jesus' death. In fact, Jesus let Peter know that his future was directly tied to the crucifixion of his Lord. Yet Jesus still said to him, "Follow me!" You and I don't know exactly what the future holds, but Jesus looks at us and asks us to follow, even if it means a cross. Let's follow!

[1] Matthew 26:35; John 18:10.
[2] Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:27-38.

Today's Prayer

Give me courage and strength, O God, so that I can follow Jesus no matter what challenges, difficulties, or hardships come my way. Please, never ever let me outlive my love for your Son or for you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 9:21-27
  • Luke 14:27
  • 1 Peter 4:12-19


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Illustration of John 21:18-19 NLT — "I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.