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P. 1
Curiosity and Obligation.

Curiosity and Obligation.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
UPPER CANADA TRACT SOCIETY


Peter seeing Him saith to Jesus, Lord, what shall this man do ? Jesus saith unto
him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me. Then
went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die : yet
Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come,
what is that to thee? S. JOHN xxi. 21-23.
UPPER CANADA TRACT SOCIETY


Peter seeing Him saith to Jesus, Lord, what shall this man do ? Jesus saith unto
him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me. Then
went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die : yet
Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come,
what is that to thee? S. JOHN xxi. 21-23.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 18, 2013
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Curiosity and Obligation.UPPER CAADA TRACT SOCIETYPeter seeing Him saith to Jesus, Lord, what shall this man do ? Jesus saith untohim, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me. Thenwent this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die : yetJesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come,what is that to thee? S. JOH xxi. 21-23.PETER S question concerning John threatened an unseemly encroachment upon Christ s sovereign rights over the work anddestinies of the disciples. Christ had first called, and then, with Hisown blood, redeemed the Twelve, and had so established a supremeclaim to determine all that concerned them, and it ill became thedisciple, who had forsaken his Master in the agonising moments thatmade his ransomed servants an inviolable possession, to arrogate tohimself what looked very much like a co-assessorship with the Master,in fixing the lot of the several disciples. Peter s question assumesthat he has the right to say something on the subject. The temptation to officiousness and egotism presents itself in the goldenmoments of his restoration, and whilst he is hearing a strange premonition of the manner of his own death. He asks about the after-careerof the humbler and more steadfast disciple at his heels, as thoughhe were godfather, and must needs inspect and review and certify thecounsels of the Lord s Providence concerning him. o wonder mencame to believe in the official supremacy of Peter, for in his lesswatchful moments he believed in it himself, and we are accustomedto take men at their own estimate. But the Master admits Peter tono place of primacy over his fellows, He puts upon him no sponsorship for their work and welfare, He pays no respect to his assumedright as spokesman, and will not consent to place the threads of thefuture in his hands. The risen Lord must needs remind Peter thathis duty is to follow, and imitate, and obey, and not to judge ;and to do this will employ all the thought and strength he canbring to bear. He is misconceiving Christ and his own relation toChrist. As Jesus appears with the prints of His death in hands andfeet, the witness of a perfected redemption, and the pattern of everydivine excellence, Peter is in danger for the moment of making Himinto a magnified fortune-teller. o wonder the question was repelled.Christ fixes the life and determines the service and suffering of Hisdisciples as He thinks best, and will have no intrusion upon his prerogative. The sanctification of Christ s blood rests upon that life andservice, and every question that trenches upon Christ s royal right asRedeemer is an impertinence.
 
II. Duty, Christ intimates, is the most important part of destiny,<cl 1EASTER DAYand the purpose of His Word is to guide and train and strengthen induty, rather than prematurely to unfold the romance of our after-days. Indeed, we make our own history as we go along, and there isno fortune worth talking about other than that which we work out forourselves by successive acts of obedience to Christ. It is idle for usto seek to know the things that will befall us in the after-times, forwhatever is vital springs out of ourselves. Peter s question perhapsimplies that duty and destiny are not uniformly interdependent things.Fit occasion and opportunity are necessary to achieve the work of the man or of the apostle, and no man without tragic ordeals in hislife could ever hope to sit on the Lord s right hand or left. Arethere grand openings in the man s pathway? Will he have thechance of distinction ? Can he write his name on some page of theworld s history ? That is the false view. He does great things whoobeys the call of duty, and there is no term that can be put to thehonour opening out before that man who sets himself steadfastly tofollow Christ. The foredetermined incidents of a man s history arethe least important things about it, mere dust poised for a momentin the air and gone. The day comes on apace when conduct willcount for everything. The life of man must be cherished not so muchfor the romance to which it may give rise, but for those spiritualqualities that reach fruition there. Life may be ensheathed insplendour, and full of imperial occasions, and yet beggarly in itsissues. Personal loyalty to Jesus Christ is the one interest whichmust absorb our thought and strength. If we could know our owndestinies or the destinies of those to whom we are attached, it mightbe a temptation to supineness or a demoralising distraction. Wemight find ourselves in the position of the man who rests upon thegifts of fortune, and never shows the world one tithe of what iswithin him. Unnecessary preoccupation with the affairs of othersmay blind us to the force of individual obligation and betray us intofaithlessness. The future of the disciple is with Christ no less thanour own, and we must be quite content to leave it there. Do notdissipate the strength needed for personal service in amiable officious-ness about the concerns of others. It is your high privilege to followChrist. His voice calls you, and if you follow you will allure otherfeet into the same pathway of honour and immortality, and addsomething of value to their destinies.

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