20:18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.)

After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!” 23 So the rumor spread in the community that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. 25 But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

It has been a difficult conversation for Peter. Peter has accepted the challenge to be radically rooted and grounded in love forsaking all other attachments. Peter has not flinched when he has received the unwelcome news that following Jesus will lead him to places he might not choose to go, even to death. But then, Peter takes his eyes off Jesus and turns instead to concern himself about

the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Jesus dismisses Peter’s question about the beloved disciple. The destiny of this other disciple is not Peter’s concern.

John’s Gospel concludes with an odd rather anticlimactic conclusion. John closes his narrative by asserting his Gospel’s close link to the firsthand experience of the beloved disciple and drawing attention to the many unrecorded deeds of Jesus.

But, perhaps the end of John’s written account of Jesus is not the end of the Gospel at all. Perhaps the intention of the Gospel writer is that his record of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection live on in the hearts of all those who will come to recognize the truth and beauty of Jesus in his narrative.

John leaves us with the penetrating question he posed to Peter,

“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

Will we live with our identity deeply rooted and grounded in love?

Will we forsake everything else in the world to follow Jesus even when the path may lead us to difficult and painful place?

These are the questions John has invited us to ask throughout his narrative. These are the questions we must be willing to face if we are going to make our journey with Jesus through the many challenges of life in this horizontal material realm.

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This concludes my reflections on the Gospel of John. I began these meditations on 23 March 2020, just as we were moving into the serious restrictions aimed at curbing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that was just beginning to ravage the world.

Reflecting each day on a small portion of John’s Gospel has helped me keep my own spiritual life focused in this strange time.

I am grateful to those of you who have walked along with me on this Journey with John/Jesus and pray that you may continue to experience the richness of God’s Spirit at work in your life

God Bless you all.