John 21: A passionate pursuit for the savior

A Passionate Pursuit for the Savior

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked a thousand miles
To fall down at your door

I wonder if anyone here has heard this potentially irritating song? First written by The Proclaimers, a Scottish band, it was later on recorded by many artistes, including Steven Curtis Chapman.

The song talks about a guy passionately following someone he wants to spend his life with. So serious was he that he would go to the extent of walking mile after mile just to reach the person’s doorstep.

Likewise, to the Savior whom you have proclaimed your love for, are you passionately pursuing Him?

‘Follow me’
In the book of Matthew, Jesus once uttered two simple words, “Follow me.”

In Jesus’ time, being called a “follower” meant that one was close to his master.

Rabbis then were known as “followers of God”. In return, many men vied to be followers of these rabbis as it was considered a high honor to be close to these holy men.

However, unlike the rabbis, Jesus did not require men to vie for Him—all He sought was their obedience to follow. Simon Peter and Andrew heard the call of Jesus, dropped their nets and followed Him immediately.

The act of dropping their nets was significant because it meant that they gave up their livelihood.

The next step
However, Jesus’ call to follow requires more than merely walking beside Him.

Luke 9 tells of the account when Jesus predicted His death.

Following Jesus thus is a continuous process. It’s a daily affair that those who are His have to take part in.

The Bible instructs us that the first thing to do when following Christ is to deny the flesh, the world and ourselves.

As Christians the Bible is explicit: We cannot serve two masters. If we are slave to our livelihoods—our self-glory—there will be no room in our hearts for Jesus Christ.

Christ was willing to die to save the lost. His example in death is the basis why those who follow Him must be ready to sacrifice their lives as well.

Following Christ is, to a Christian, an unhindered passionate pursuit, fixing our eyes on Jesus all the way.

But many of us, after following Jesus passionately, fall back to our old ways. Somehow the self-glory we threw away has returned, gleaming brighter than ever. Our passionate pursuit of Christ slows to a jog and soon enough we find ourselves orbiting.

This orbiting behavior can become very dangerous because we can, at will, blur Christ out.

We no longer fix our eyes on Him but stagnate and very soon, we forget Him.

Sin happens when we close our eyes to God. We choose to blur Him out, sometimes on instigation by the devil.

The disciples themselves were not spared of this, especially Peter.

We read John 21 that after Christ’s death and resurrection, the disciples saw Him 3 times. Following the second time, Simon Peter said, “I’m going out to fish,” (John 21: 3a). Peter decided to go back to his old livelihood!

What happened to the Peter who followed Jesus immediately? What happened to the Peter who was filled with remorse after denying Christ?

Surely, he must have made it a point in his heart to never commit the same mistake.

But the Bible tells us Peter went back to fishing. From chasing after Christ, to slowly fading away after Jesus was arrested, to orbiting and waiting for Jesus to come back. Peter decided enough was enough and bailed out.

However, Jesus did not give up on Peter. He knew Peter’s heart’s condition and worked a redemptive work in him, offering him a second chance. Jesus used the same two words to Peter at the close of the chapter.

“Follow me.”


What a wonderful Savior we have who is so full of grace that though He knows our very weakness, He still works in us nonetheless.

Written By Isaac Tan for YMI

2 replies
  1. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    This is an excellent article. A passionate follower of Jesus is who we should be, not a passive, comfortable christian. There’s a lot of difference between the two. You have explained it very well Isaac.


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