John 18:15-16 15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
Everyone wants to be significant. Everyone wants to be important. It’s just that some people go more out of their way to point out their importance. This passage in particular really cracks me up! Here you have Jesus headed in to see the high priest and two disciples are following him. (It sounds like a bad joke, “two disciples walk into a bar…”) One of those disciples is Peter and the other is only referred to as another disciple. This other disciple is actually John, the author of the book. He refers to himself in a variety of ways throughout the book of John. It’s pretty funny really.
This whole scene reminds of a New York night club in a back alley. The people are lined up waiting to get in and hoping they will get selected. The line is long but some people go straight to the entrance. The bouncer checks his list, nods, and lets them in. They must be on the list or something; they must know the right people. In the meantime, all the losers get to stand outside in the cold and act all desperate and loserish. John must have been on the list, as he writes it. And Peter must have been one of those standing outside acting all loserish. But the cool disciple, the one who knew the right people, helped out the not as cool disciple. He goes to the keeper of the door and says, “he’s with me.” So they let Peter in too. Peter is so lucky to know someone as amazing and cool as John.
Now why in the world is this in the Bible!? What can I actually glean from these two verses? After I had stopped laughing at John’s lame attempt to be much cooler than Peter, I realized that all John really wanted was significance. Later in the book, he refers to himself as the one Jesus loved. He wanted to be noticed. He wanted to show that he was important. (And maybe he had a little disciple sibling-like rivalry going on with Peter.)
Significance. Don’t we all want that? Don’t we all want to have value and importance? Paul writes in Philippians 3:8-9 that he wants to “gain Christ and be found in Him.” This is where significance really starts. It really isn’t about knowing the right people. It is about knowing Christ and Him knowing you. It is about discovering who you are in Him. Without Him, we are truly all lost. We wander around trying to figure out who in the world we are. But in Him, we are found. In Him, we discover significance; we discover value. That’s how I want to be defined: not by the value and importance that others place on me or even what I place on myself, but what Christ places on me. I want to be defined by how He sees me. And I think when we arrive at that discovery, we will no longer need to tell anyone how important we are. We won’t have to demean anyone else to make ourselves feel better. I have confidence that John eventually figured out the same thing – that being better than Peter needed to take a backseat to growing in Christ. I have confidence that it did and I have confidence that it will in my life too!