Today's verses are John 21:18,19: "'Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.' (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, 'Follow me.'" My child, I begin this time with you today simply saying, "Truly, truly." Remember that whenever I use these two words it is an introduction to a very important teaching. It's like me saying, "Listen up! What you are about to hear is very important!"
These two words were for my friend Peter. I was telling him that when he was younger and not my follower, he had complete freedom. He could go where he wanted to go. He could do whatever he wanted to do. He could dress himself without worry. He had complete autonomy.
But one day, as he ages and gives his life to me, he will be forced to stretch out his hands. This term means that one day he will be crucified, as I was. He will face martyrdom for me. Someone will come and dress him and take him to a cross. He would be forced to go to a place to where he doesn't want to go.
Some historical legends say that Peter chose to die on his cross upside down, because he didn't think he was worthy to die in the same way that I had died. He should have known, in the beginning, that when he decided to follow me he may be called to give up his life.
Then I simply said to him, again, as I had done when I first called him, "Follow me." Again, he was to put down his fishing nets and go to where I wanted him to go. For the rest of his life, I wanted him to completely obey me.
My child, do you know that my call to you is not for me always to bless you and give you what you want? I am willing to do so. I will meet your every need. But my call upon your life is a call to obey me, no matter what the cost. Are you willing today to give your life for me? Am I the primary passion of your life? Do you love me more than anything else in your world?
Let me reissue to you my call to you. Simply, I say again to you, "Follow me." Come and be my disciple on earth. Live as I call you to live. Be as I call you to be. Obey as I call you to obey. Go to where I want you to go. Follow my example. Be my mouth, hands and feet in this world.
I will be with you always, even to the close of the age. And should I call you to give your life for me, rest assured, your reward in heaven will be great. You will sit among my most elite and special followers in all eternity.
Come and follow me.
You can trust me today.