The third time was different. Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Jesus, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” (John 21:15, 17).
Jesus then revealed something to Peter he probably didn’t want to know. “When you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” This He spoke, signifying by what death Peter would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” (John 21:18-19)
Peter was to spend the rest of his life glorifying God by caring for and teaching the growing Christian community. He was to simply “Follow Me.”
Like Peter, we long to glorify Him in our life; but if we look back to John’s commentary on verse 18, he writes something remarkable. This He spoke, signifying by what death Peter would glorify God. Peter was crucified upside down by Emperor Nero.
To us, only living brings glory to God, but He sees it all so differently. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15). If we expect that our lives bring glory to the Lord Jesus, why do we doubt that we glorify Him in death also?