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What is the significance of the statement Jesus made to the disciple He loved in John 21:23: “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”?

“Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?””
‭‭John‬ ‭21:23‬ ‭NIV

John 21:23

NLT - 23 So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

Clarify Share Report Asked 10 days ago Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I see a twofold significance.

The risen Christ had just asked Peter three times whether Peter loved Him (to counter the three times that Peter had denied Jesus at the time of His arrest). Jesus had then prophesied to Peter that when Peter was old, he would be led to somewhere that he did not want to go (that is, to martyrdom). Peter was apparently anxious to divert the conversation from discussion of his past failings and future sufferings, and thus asked Jesus about what would happen to John (who was following along behind them).

In response, Jesus told Peter that he should be focused on his own obedience to Christ, and remaining faithful to Him, rather than being more concerned about what would happen to John. This is valid guidance for Christians of all eras with regard to caring for their own individual spiritual states.

However, Jesus' words also constituted a prophecy of what would happen to John with respect to the combined facts that he would be the only one of the apostles who would not die a martyr's death, and also that he would (in a very real sense) live to see Christ's return, through the apocalyptic vision that he would see and record in Revelation.

8 days ago 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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