Read John 21:20-22
20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” 21 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”
22 Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” (NLT)
It is natural for us to wonder about the lives and fates of others, especially those close to us. Peter expresses something of this after his conversation with Jesus on the lakeside after the resurrection. Jesus has told Peter something of his own future: leadership responsibilities and unwelcome death. Peter wonders what is going to happen to John, his colleague.
Jesus, in a nice way, tells him to mind his own business. Peter is not to be concerned about John’s future but his own future. None of this means we ought not to be concerned at all about others, but it is a reminder that ultimately we can’t know others’ future or dictate that future. We may encourage and guide and pray but we cannot truly know what is going to happen to them.
This is especially so when it comes to our wondering about others’ eternal destinies. The Bible is pretty clear that our destinies depend on our relationship with God, but that doesn’t mean that we can figure that out. We can’t know the inner depths of another person. The one who seems on the surface to have given up on God might inwardly hold on to faith by their fingernails. The one who sees on the surface to be doing all the right ‘Christian’ things might inwardly be emptied of faith so their Christianity is really a hollow façade.
Jesus might say to us as he said to Peter, “As for you, follow me.”