Peter looked back and saw that the disciple Jesus loved was following as well, the one who had reclined close to Jesus at the supper, and had asked him, “Lord, who is to betray you?” On seeing him, Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain until I come, is that any concern of yours? Follow me!”
Because of this the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to Peter, “He will not die,” but, “Suppose I want him to remain until I come back, what concern is that of yours?”
It is this disciple who testifies about the things and has written these things down, and we know that his testimony is true. But Jesus did many other things; if all were written down, I think the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.
“It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.” (Aeschylus) The Latin translation of envy is nonsight, a blindness to what one has. An envious person has no self-worth. He doesn’t notice what he possesses, but he also wants to deprive others of what they have. An artist depiction of envy shows a woman’s bulging eyes conveying fear and distress. (Théodore Géricault, Woman Suffering from Obsessive Envy or the Hyena of the Salpêtrière) The Bible is teeming with envious characters, Cain envied Abel, Saul envied David. In the classic play Snow White, the Queen is envious of Snow White’s youth and beauty and wants to kill her so she could again be the “fairest of them all.”
Jesus wants Peter to think first of his mission before getting concerned with other things. Charity begins at home. Put your own “house” in order first and then help others. This is true also with one looking at the speck in other’s eyes, but doesn’t see the dirt in their own eyes. “What we all tend to complain about most in other people are those things we don’t like about ourselves.” (William Wharton)
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