Ezra 6-8, John 21 • Key Verse: John 21:22
Ever hear of the “law of unintended consequences”? It's the idea that sometimes there are
consequences that were neither intended nor expected. Sometimes that happens with establishing
Something is done once and becomes the benchmark by which other similar things are done.
Precedents are feared by those who inadvertently set them-and revered by those who want to use
them. They can be positive in effect but often are not.
When we focus on precedents, we may get; sidetracked, leaving undone the important things.
Jesus did not want that to happen to His disciples. These weren’t His exact words, but his
message in John 21:19 and 22 was, “Don’t get sidetracked by how someone else is treated.”
Jesus gave Peter an indication of “the kind of death by which [he] would glorify God” (v. 19).
Then He said what really mattered: “Follow Me.” But Peter got sidetracked. Was Jesus setting a
precedent here? “Lord, what about him?” Peter asked of John (v. 21).
Immediately, Jesus brought Peter back to what was important. Peter did not need to wonder
about how John would die but did need to remember that he must follow Jesus. True to human
nature, a rumor then began to spread among the disciples about John not dying.
That was not the intended consequence, but a needed reminder that we can get so curious about
how others are treated that we miss what is important.
Follow Jesus and don’t get sidetracked. That is what is most important.
We can easily get sidetracked wondering about other people and what God might be doing in
their lives. Instead of wondering about others, we need to focus on these simple words of Jesus:
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett