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Humble Hero

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    Christ Tells How Peter Will Die

    Before His death, Jesus had said to Peter, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” To this Peter had replied, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” John 13:36, 37. He failed when the test came, but again he was to have opportunity to prove his love for Christ. So that he could be strengthened for the final test of his faith, the Savior opened to him his future. After a life of usefulness, when age was wearing out his strength, he would indeed follow his Lord. Jesus said, “‘When you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.’ This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God.”HH 373.4

    In this way Jesus foretold that Peter’s hands would be stretched out on the cross. Again He invited His disciple, “Follow Me.” Peter was not discouraged by the revelation. He felt willing to accept any death for his Lord.HH 373.5

    Up to now Peter had loved Christ as a man; he now loved Him as God. Now he was prepared to share in his Lord’s mission of sacrifice. When at last Peter was brought to the cross, at his own request he was crucified with his head downward. He thought it was too great an honor to suffer in the same way as his Master did.HH 373.6

    Before this Peter had tried to plan for the work of God instead of waiting to discover and follow God’s plan. But Jesus told him, “Follow Me.” Do not run ahead of Me. Let Me go before you, and then the enemy will not overcome you.HH 373.7

    As Peter walked beside Jesus, he saw that John was following. A desire came over him to know his future, and he “said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’” Peter should have considered that his Lord would reveal to him everything that it was best for him to know. In saying about John, “If I will that he remain till I come,” Jesus gave no assurance that this disciple would live until the Lord’s second coming. But even if He decided that this would happen, it would not affect Peter’s work in any way. Obedience was the duty that Jesus required of each.HH 373.8

    How many today are interested in the affairs of others, anxious to know their duty, while in danger of neglecting their own! It is our work to look to Christ and follow Him. Beholding Him, we will become transformed.HH 374.1

    John lived to see the destruction of Jerusalem and the ruin of the temple—a symbol of the last ruin of the world. To his last days he closely followed his Lord. Jesus had restored Peter to his apostleship, but the honor Peter received from Christ had not given him supremacy over the others. Christ made this plain in answer to Peter’s question, “What about this man?” He had said, “What is that to you? You follow Me.” Peter was not honored as the head of the church. He had much influence in the church, but the lesson Christ taught him by the Sea of Galilee Peter carried with him throughout his life.HH 374.2

    Writing to the churches, Peter said, “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, ... Shepherd the flock of God ... not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.” 1 Peter 5:1-4.HH 374.3

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