20.And Peter, turning about. We have in Peter an instance of our curiosity, which is not only superfluous, but even hurtful, when we are drawn aside from our duty by looking at others; for it is almost natural to us to examine the way in which other people live, instead of examining our own, and to attempt to find in them idle excuses. We willingly deceive ourselves by this semblance of apology, that other people are no better than we are, as if their indolence freed us from blame. Scarce one person in a hundred considers the import of those words of Paul,
Every man shall bear his own burden, (Gal_6:5.)
In the person of one man, therefore, there is a general reproof of all who look around them in every direction, to see how other men act, and pay no attention to the duties which God has enjoined on themselves. Above all, they are grievously mistaken in this respect, that they neglect and overlook what is demanded by every man’ special calling.
Out of ten persons it may happen that God shall choose one, that he may try him by heavy calamities or by vast labors, and that he shall permit the other nine to remain at ease, or, at least, shall try them lightly. Besides, God does not treat all in the same manner, but makes trial of every one as he thinks fit. As there are various kinds of Christian warfare, let every man learn to keep his own station, and let us not make inquiries like busybodies about this or that person, when the heavenly Captain addresses each of us, to whose authority we ought to be so submissive as to forget every thing else.
Whom Jesus loved. This circumlocution was inserted, in order to inform us what was the reason why Peter was induced to put the question which is here related; for he thought it strange that he alone should be called, and that John should be overlooked, whom Christ had always loved so warmly. Peter had, therefore, some apparently good reason for asking why no mention was made of John, as if Christ’ disposition towards him had undergone a change. Yet Christ cuts short his curiosity, by telling him that he ought to obey the calling of God, and that he has no right to inquire what other people do.