Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21:20-23, NIV).
Can you imagine a rumor being spread that Jesus had said you will never die? I wonder how John dealt with this…especially when you consider that he did outlive all the other apostles including Paul, and most of the second generation of Christian leaders. His own long life no doubt just added fuel to the fire.
Rumors, misunderstandings, and misinformation are hard to stop. We need to be very careful about what we say God said. A lot of harm has been done by putting words in God’s mouth. Here are just a few:
- God helps those who help themselves. Not in the Bible, and actually is the opposite of what the Bible teaches.
- Money is the root of all evil. Misquote of 1 Timothy 6:10 which actually says the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
- God will not give you more than you can handle. Misquote of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
Let us be very careful about what we say God says.