Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 21:19

Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He *said to him, "Follow Me!"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Apostles;   Discipleship;   Glorifying God;   Jesus Continued;   Peter;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Afflictions Made Beneficial;   Glorifying God;   Martyrdom;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apostacy;   Mark, gospel of;   Peter;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Peter;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - James;   Peter;   Peter, the Epistles of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel of;   Peter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Acts of the Apostles;   John, Gospel of;   Peter;   Peter, Second Epistle of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Call, Calling;   Character;   Discipleship;   Discourse;   Following;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Peter;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Glorify;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Persecution;   Peter, Simon;   Peter, the First Epistle of;   Peter, the Second Epistle of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - New Testament;   Simon Cephas;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Should glorify God - Ancient writers state that, about thirty-four years after this, Peter was crucified; and that he deemed it so glorious a thing to die for Christ that he begged to be crucified with his head downwards, not considering himself worthy to die in the same posture in which his Lord did. So Eusebius, Prudentius, Chrysostom, and Augustin. See Calmet.

Follow me - Whether our Lord meant by these words that Peter was to walk with him a little way for a private interview, or whether he meant that he was to imitate his example, or be conformed to him in the manner of his death, is very uncertain.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 21:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

By what death … - In these words two things are implied:

1.that Peter would die a violent death; and,

2.that his death would be such as to honor God.

The ancients say that Peter was crucified at Rome, about 34 years after this, with his head downward. Clemens says that he was led to the crucifixion with his wife, and sustained her in her sufferings by exhorting her to remember the example of her Lord. He also adds that he died, not as the philosophers did, but with a firm hope of heaven, and patiently endured the pangs of the cross (Strom. vii.). This declaration of the Saviour was doubtless continually before the mind of Peter, and to the hour of his death he maintained the utmost constancy and fidelity in his cause, thus justifying the appellation which the Lord Jesus gave him - a rock.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

This spake he,.... These are the words of the evangelist, explaining the meaning of Christ in like manner, as in John 12:33

signifying by what death he should glorify God; for by the above words Christ not only intimated that Peter should die, not a natural, but a violent death, or that he should die a martyr in his cause, but the very kind of death he should die, namely, by crucifixion; and that Peter was crucified at Rome, ecclesiastical history confirmsF6Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c 25. , when Christ was magnified, and God was glorified by his zeal and courage, faith and patience, constancy and perseverance to the end:

and when he had spoken this: concerning the usage and treatment he should meet with, the sufferings he should undergo, and death he should die for his sake, for the present trial of him:

he saith unto him, follow me: which may be understood literally, Jesus now rising up, and ordering him to come after him; and yet as a sign of his following him, in a spiritual sense, exercising every grace upon him, discharging every duty towards him, faithfully and constantly performing his work and office, as an apostle and preacher of the Gospel, in which he had now reinstated and confirmed him, and patiently bearing and suffering all kind of reproach, persecution, and death, for his name's sake.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 21:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

This spake he, signifying by f what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

(f) That is, that Peter would die by a violent death.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 21:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God — not, therefore, a mere prediction of the manner of his death, but of the honor to be conferred upon him by dying for his Master. And, indeed, beyond doubt, this prediction was intended to follow up his triple restoration: - “Yes, Simon, thou shall not only feed My lambs, and feed My sheep, but after a long career of such service, shalt be counted worthy to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me — By thus connecting the utterance of this prediction with the invitation to follow Him, the Evangelist would indicate the deeper sense in which the call was understood, not merely to go along with Him at that moment, but to come after Him, “taking up his cross.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-21.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

By what death he should glorify God. These two verses can only be understood as declaring that Peter should die the death of a martyr. John wrote after Peter's death, and may be understood as affirming that he did thus "glorify God." The universal testimony of the ancient Church is that he did thus die. It is asserted that Peter was crucified, a fact that is probable, as he was not a Roman citizen.

Follow me. He had once forsaken Christ through fear of death. Now, with a prospect of violent death before him, he is bidden to resume the Master's work and to follow him. He did this, from this time, faithfully.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 21:19". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-21.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

By what manner of death (ποιωι τανατωιpoiōi thanatōi). Undoubtedly John, who is writing long after Peter‘s death, seems to mean that Peter was to die (and did die) a martyr‘s death. “Whither thou wouldest not.” There is a tradition that Peter met death by crucifixion and asked to be crucified head downwards, but that is not made plain here.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-21.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

By what death ( ποίῳ )

Properly, by what manner of death. So Rev.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

By what death he should glorify God — It is not only by acting, but chiefly by suffering, that the saints glorify God.

Follow me — Showing hereby likewise what death he should die.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 21:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-21.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Now this he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God1. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me2.

  1. Now this he spake, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God. John, who wrote after Peter's death, tells us what the words of Christ meant. His words show that tradition is true in saying that Peter suffered martyrdom, but it is no voucher that tradition is true as to the time (about thirty-four years after this), place (Rome), or manner (crucified head downward) of Peter's death. There is certainly no trustworthy evidence that Peter was ever at Rome.

  2. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. This saying bore the usual double sense in which Jesus employed it. Peter was to follow him now (and he did arise and follow), and he was also to follow Jesus to a violent death and a glorious immortality.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 21:19". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-21.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Какою смертью Петр. Это пояснение несет особый смысл. Хотя все благочестивые должны преследовать цель прославить Бога и жизнью и смертью, Иоанн хочет особо восхвалить кончину тех, кто собственной кровью запечатлеет Евангелие Христово и прославит Его имя. Как учит и Павел в Послании к Филиппийцам, 1:19. Нам же надо установить, какой плод принесла смерть Петра. Ибо, если вера наша от нее не окрепнет, и мы не станем стремиться так же прославить Бога, все это будет свидетельствовать о нашей безмерной лени. Если бы паписты подумали о цели смерти мучеников, им никогда бы не пришла на ум богохульная мысль, что смерть эта умилостивляет Бога и вносится как плата за грехи людей.

И, сказав сие. Здесь Христос объясняет, зачем Он говорил о грядущей насильственной смерти Петра. Чтобы Петр готовился проявить терпение. Когда, – говорит Христос, – тебе по примеру Моему придется пойти на смерть, следуй за Вождем твоим. Кроме того, дабы Петр охотнее повиновался Богу, зовущему его претерпеть крест, Христос объявляет этим вождем Самого Себя. Увещевание же его, коим Он приглашает Петра подражать Себе, не является всеобщим. Оно относится лишь к определенному роду смерти. Уже одно то немало смягчает горечь кончины, что Сын Божий престает перед нашим взором в блаженном воскресении, нашем грядущем триумфе над смертью.

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-21.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Ver. 19. By what death he should glorify God] Martyrdom is the lowest subjection that can be to God, but the highest honour. Vere magnus est Deus Christianorum; The God of the Christians is a great God indeed, said one Calocerius, a heathen, beholding the patient sufferings of the primitive martyrs. Justin Martyr confesseth of himself, that seeing the piety of Christians in their lives and their patience in death, he gathered that that was the truth that they so constantly professed and sealed up with their blood. And of one Adrianus it is reported, that seeing the martyrs suffer such grievous things, he asked the cause; one of them named that text, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard," &c. The naming of which words and seeing of such sufferings, so converted him, that afterwards he became a martyr. To account Christ precious as a tree of life, though we be fastened to him as to a stake to be burned at, this is the greatest honour we can do him upon earth. This is to magnify Christ as Paul did, Philippians 1:20; to follow Christ close at heels, as Peter did here, who also had the manner of his death foretold him, 2 Peter 1:14. As had likewise Bishop Hooper, when he had given him for his arms, a lamb in a fiery bush, and the sunbeams from heaven descending down upon the lamb, rightly purporting by what death he should glorify God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 21:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-21.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 21:19

Follow Christ

I. You shall never be far from the Father. That pleasant countenance with which the Father beheld the well-beloved Son extends to all His followers—to all who, in faith and affection, gather round Him or go after Him, like this little band beside the Lake of Galilee.

II. You will learn to do things as Christ did them. You will learn to feed the sheep or the lambs as He fed them; warning, reproving, exhorting, with a kindred longsuffering. You will learn to be calm amidst astounding insult; and what is harder still, you will learn to be kind to most unattractive misery. You will learn to meet temptation with "Thus it is written," and for trial you will learn to prepare by praying more earnestly.

III. Christ will conduct you where no other can take you. I do not mean merely in that better life to which He is the only entrance; but in this present world there are heights of attainment and regions of joy which are only reached in His company. As you follow on you will come to know Him better and to trust Him more, and you will at last find yourself looking down on earthly cares and solicitudes, on tumults of the people and national commotions, from heights such as the mere sage or statesman never scaled.

IV. Christ will take you up where all others leave you. One by one the companions of the pilgrimage drop off and disappear. And at last that mysterious summit will be reached where the rest can come no further; and as one by one the senses close, as in the thick fog dear faces fade away, and as far down the strand fond and familiar voices cease to overtake you, a countenance that you have never seen before, and which you yet know full well, will say, as plainly as the Supreme of Loveliness can say, "It is I, be not afraid"; and so with gladness and rejoicing shall you be brought into the palace of the King, and there you shall abide.

J. Hamilton, Works, vol. i., p. 339.


The best token of attachment and loyalty to Christ is to follow Him fully. Try to give such a representation of His religion as will be true to Himself and appropriate to your own position, and then it cannot fail to be attractive and impressive to others.

I. Among those features of the great Example which all may study and seek to assimilate, let me mention first, His sublime veracity. He was Himself the Truth, the Amen, the great Reality, whom it was impossible to know too thoroughly, or trust too entirely; and whilst from His own mouth guile never proceeded, there never was a presence in which affectations and hypocrisies felt so uncomfortable—gasping and out of their element, and like to give up the ghost. In order to have the mind of Christ we must share His truthfulness.

II. Again, Jesus Christ hath left us a pattern in His kindness. Himself the Son of God incarnate, and crowning three years of the busiest beneficence by a deed of mercy, whose influence eternity cannot exhaust, and whose outgoings are felt in all worlds, one lesson of His life is the amount of consolation and encouragement and holy impulse which can be diffused from a single presence in its progress through one short day, when there are no conflicting elements—when the fountain never intermits, when the light is never veiled.

III. Follow Christ in that wonderful faculty which turned every opportunity to the best account. If there be a frightful contagion in evil, there is in faith and earnestness a Divine ascendancy. One serious thinker can do much to arrest frivolity, even as one cheerful countenance can go far to brighten a gloomy company—even as one high-toned spirit can go far to raise to his own level a large assembly.

IV. Follow Christ in His humility. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who humbled Himself and made Himself of no reputation." Whether it be in Christ or the Christian, there is in true humility nothing abject, nothing self-disparaging; on the other hand, there is affability, there is self-forgetfulness, there is contentment, there is submission to God's will, there is cheerful, unquestioning obedience. And this meek and quiet spirit is in the sight of God of great price.

J. Hamilton, Works, vol. i., p. 346.


References: John 21:19-22.—A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 528. John 21:19-25.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iii., p. 349.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-21.html.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

19.] This remark is entirely in John’s manner, see ch. John 2:21; John 6:6; John 7:39; John 12:33; as may be also the δοξάζειν τ. θ. used of such a death, see ch. John 13:31 f.; John 17:1.

ἀκολούθει μοι] Not to be understood I think of any present gesture of the Lord calling Peter aside;—but, from the next verse, followed perhaps by a motion of Peter towards Him, in which John joined. The words seem to be a plain reference to ch. John 13:36;—and the following,—a following through the Cross to glory: see Matthew 16:24; Mark 10:21. Now, however, ἄρας τὸν σταυρόν is omitted. He had made this so plain, that it needed not expressing. There was also a forcible reminding Peter of the first time when he had heard this command on the same shore, Matthew 4:19.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 21:19". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-21.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

John 21:19. A comment, quite of Johannean stamp, on the remarkable saying. Comp. John 18:32, also John 12:33.

ποίῳ θανάτῳ] i.e. by what manner of death, namely, by the death of martyrdom, for which Peter, bound round with fetters, was conveyed to the place of execution. John, who wrote long after the death of Peter, presupposes the details as well known, as also Clem. Cor. I. 5. Peter was crucified, as tradition, from the time of Tertullian, Scorp. 15,(288) de praeser. 35, and Origen in Eusebius, credibly relates; the reader had therefore to take this special element of the ποιότης of the execution from history, as the fulfilment of the less definite word of prophecy, in addition to, but not to derive it from, the words of Christ themselves.

δοξάσει τ. θεόν] For such a death tended to the glorifying of God, in whose service he suffered for the revelation of His counsel and for the victory of His work (comp. John 17:4; John 17:6); hence δοξάζειν τ. θεόν became “magnificus martyrii titulus,” Grotius. See Suicer, Thes. I. p. 949. Comp. also Philippians 1:20; 1 Peter 4:16; Acts 5:41.

ἀκολούθει μοι] On the announcement of the martyrdom which is destined for Peter in his old age, there now follows, after a pause, the summons thereto, and that in the significant form: follow me! Comp. John 13:36; Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24. This, then, refers, according to the context, to the following of Christ in the like death that He had died, i.e. in the death of martyrdom, which Peter is to undergo. Luther: “give thyself willingly to death.” Too special is the interpretation which refers it to the death of the cross, since this was not expressly characterized in John 21:18 (against Euth. Zigabenus and many others). Quite in opposition to the context, however (see also John 21:22), others, after Chrysostom and Theophylact, have referred it to the appointment to be oecumenical bishop. The reference to the guidance of the church is by no means to be connected with that to the death of martyrdom (Ewald, Jahrb. III. p. 171), since ἀκολ. is the opposite of μένειν, John 21:22. Others, again, have divested the words of all significance: Jesus had something particular to speak of with Peter, and hence summoned him to go with Him. In this way Kuinoel, Paulus, and even Tholuck and Schleiermacher, whilst Grotius, Bengel, Luthardt, Lange, Hengstenberg, Brückner, Baeumlein, Godet attempt to melt away the proper and symbolical meaning.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 21:19". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-21.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 21:19. σημαίνων, signifying) Such predictions are sometimes vouchsafed to those who excel in love and faithfulness.— ποίῳ, by what kind of death) John wrote his gospel before the death of Peter: and the event, in a few years after, corresponded to the prediction of the Lord recorded by John. Comp. ch. John 12:33 [referring to His own death].— δοξάσει, he was about to glorify) It is chiefly by suffering, not merely by doing, that the saints glorify God.— λέγει, He saith) forthwith.— ἀκολούθει μοι, follow Me) apart, by thyself: so as to hear what I have to do with thee alone; as also, that thou mayest undergo the suffering of the cross, John 21:18; John 21:22, ch. John 13:36. [This saying of the Lord, throughout the whole career of Peter’s life, secured his alacrity in following Christ.—V. g.] This following implied not so much the similarity of Peter’s death by the cross to that of Christ, which had already been intimated, as the fact of the death of Peter being separated from that of the Lord by a not exceedingly long interval, when compared with the lengthened stay of John. For there follows, What is that to thee? He had first of all said to the disciples, Follow Me (ch. John 1:43). The continuation of the beginning crowns the completion of Christianity.(409) This especially was the mind of Ignatius, to follow so as to attain to Christ.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 21:19". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-21.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 19. See Poole on "John 21:18"

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 21:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-21.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Signifying; pointing out beforehand.

Follow me; in an emphatic sense, Follow me not only as my disciple, but in my crucifixion also. No ardency of devotion to the cause of Christ, and no degree of usefulness will secure his servants from great trials, or even from violent death; but no trials will come upon them except under the direction of God, and such as will best prepare them to glorify and enjoy him.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-21.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.Glorify God—That God should receive glory in the martyr’s death was a new thought, unknown to heathenism. Fo

llow me—Our Lord, we now suppose, rose from the meal and prepares for his disappearing. He moves from the company and bids Peter follow him. As Peter rises to follow, John, with deep interest, but half unconsciousness, rises to follow also. This command to Peter to follow him required a bodily following; but it also symbolized that following in future destiny by which Peter should tread the path through martyrdom to heaven. This will soon appear as we advance.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-21.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“And when he had spoken this he says to him, “Follow me”.’

Jesus now renewed that first so important call of Peter. He called him again to ‘Follow Me’. The care Jesus took over all this demonstrates how deeply what Peter had done had been felt, both by Peter and the rest of the disciples. One they all looked to had collapsed in total failure. So there would always have been a question over whether this had cancelled out his position, and this was felt by him most of all. Now he knew, and they all knew, that his call stood firm. And that next time, with Christ’s strength, he would not fail.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-21.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 21:19. But this said he, signifying by what manner of death he should glorify God. It is impossible to deny that in these words the Evangelist refers to ‘death’ in the ordinary sense of the term. If, then, we consider (1) the peculiar expressions used in the last verse; (2) the tradition of the Church (usually regarded as worthy of trust), that Peter died by crucifixion; and (3) the fact that, at the time when the words were written, Peter’s death must have been long past: it is at once to be admitted that the Evangelist applies John 21:18, in the first instance at least, to the actual crucifixion of Peter. But it is not necessary to suppose that all the clauses of the verse refer to the literal crucifixion, or that the meaning of any of them is exhausted by that fact (comp. John 12:32-33). The singular words, ‘he should glorify God,’ confirm the interpretation we have given. There is no evidence that at this early stage of Christian history this expression was used for martyrdom. It cannot therefore be explained in the light of martyrdom alone. We must compare such passages as chaps, John 12:28, John 13:31, John 14:13, John 15:8; John 17:1; John 17:4; and, doing so, we learn that the death of Peter is not viewed simply as the closing act of his career, but as an act in which that second life of his which had been spoken of in John 21:18 reached its culminating point. Thus there is nothing in John 21:19 limiting John 21:18 to that act of crucifixion which the several clauses of the verse compel us to pass.

And when he had said this, he saith unto him, Follow me. To confine the meaning of the words ‘Follow me’ to the literal following of Jesus on the pre sent occasion,—as if all their import were that Jesus had gone forward a few steps, telling Peter to come after Him,—is so much out of keeping with the sense in which similar words are used even in the earlier Gospels, and so much more out of keeping with the style of John, that such an interpretation hardly needs to be refuted. That indeed our Lord did move forward, and that He meant Peter to follow Him, is highly probable,—especially from John 21:20. But this is certainly not the whole meaning. The external following foreshadows an imitation of Christ in His accomplishment of the Father’s will, and His drinking of the cup put into his hands by the Father, until, in the one case as in the other, the cross itself is reached.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-21.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

what = what kind of.

glorify. Greek. doxazo. See p. 1511.

God. App-98.

when He had = having.

Follow. Greek. akoloutheo. Used of soldiers, servants, and pupils. First occurance in John 1:37.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 21:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

This spake he, signifying by what ('manner of') death, [ poioo (G4169)] he should glorify God - not, therefore, a mere prediction of the manner of his death, but of the honour to be conferred upon him by dying for his Master. And, indeed, beyond doubt, this prediction was intended to follow up his triple restoration: 'Yes, Simon, thou shalt not only feed My lambs, and feed My sheep, but after a long career of such service, shalt be counted worthy to die for the name of the Lord Jesus.'

And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. By thus connecting the utterance of this prediction with the invitation to follow Him, the Evangelist would indicate the deeper sense in which the call was understood, not merely to go along with Him at that moment, but to come after Him, taking up his across.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-21.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

19. (In which Peter would die.) Traditional history says Peter was crucified [upside down] at Rome, and Paul was beheaded there, both about the same time (around 68 A.D.), by Emperor Nero. [Paul was a Roman citizen, Peter was not.] Follow me! The future had a blessing for Peter, if he “kept the Faith.” He did, from this time on!

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 21:19". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-21.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(19) This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God.—These words are a comment by the writer, and quite in St. John’s style. (Comp. John 2:21; John 6:6; John 7:39; John 12:33.)

“By what death,” or, more exactly, by what manner of death (comp. John 12:33; John 18:32), indicates generally the martyrdom of Peter as distinct from a natural death, without special reference to the crucifixion. (See Note on last verse.)

For the phrase “glorify God,” comp. John 13:31; John 17:1; and see also Philippians 1:20; 1 Peter 4:16. From its occurrence here in connection with St. Peter, it passed into the common language of the Church for the death of martyrs.

Follow me.—It may be, and the next verse makes it probable, that our Lord withdrew from the circle of the disciples, and by some movement or gesture signified to Peter that he should follow Him; but these words must have had for the Apostle a much fuller meaning. By the side of that lake he had first heard the command “Follow Me” (Matthew 4:19); when sent forth on his apostleship, he had been taught that to follow Christ meant to take up the cross (Matthew 10:38); it was his words which drew from Christ the utterance, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:23); to his question at the Last Supper came the answer, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterwards” (John 13:36); and now the command has come again with the prophecy of martyrdom, and it must have carried to his mind the thought that he was to follow the Lord in suffering and death itself, and through the dark path which He had trodden was to follow Him to the Father’s home.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
by
Philippians 1:20; 1 Peter 4:11-14; 2 Peter 1:14
Follow
22; 12:26; 13:36,37; Numbers 14:24; 1 Samuel 12:20; Matthew 10:38; 16:21-25; 19:28; Mark 8:33-38; Luke 9:22-26
Reciprocal: Mark 8:34 - follow;  Luke 5:27 - Follow me;  John 12:33 - signifying;  Romans 14:8 - we die unto

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 21:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-21.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 19. "This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him, Follow Me."

We have the explanation of "glorify God" in Matthew 5:16, "that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." God is glorified in the joyful death of martyrs, which can have its source only in Him, and apart from Him cannot be found. It appears that John had Peter's saying, 1 Peter 4:16, in his eyes: "But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; let him glorify God on this behalf," δοξαζέτω δὲ τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τούτῳ. Martyrdom in which Christian virtue exhibits its highest bloom, appears there also to be a glorification of God. The ecclesiastical use of the phrase "glorify God" for the death of martyrs evidently sprang from this passage.—"By what death:" this cannot refer to violent death generally, but to the special kind of death; for only such a kind of death is referred to as would serve to glorify God. The genus was not death generally, but the death of martyrdom. The species of death was crucifixion only.—"Follow Me" must primarily refer to the external following, to the fact that Peter was then and there to follow Christ's steps: this is plain from the ἀκολουθοῦντα in ver. 20. According to that verse, the following was such as might be seen. But, on the other hand, it is obvious that "Follow Me" must also be understood of a following in the way of the cross. To this we are led by the connection, thus only established, with the words that preceded; to this we are led also by the obvious parallel of Matthew 10:38, "Whosoever taketh not up his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me," a word which must involuntarily have occurred to Peter's mind when he heard the "Follow Me," the rather as the Lord had repeated it in prospect of His own passion. Matthew 16:24; by the fact that we cannot see any sufficient end in the mere external following, which would have been without meaning to the reader, and alone would not have been mentioned by John; and finally by ver. 22, where "Follow thou Me" forms the opposite of another destiny which awaited John. The seemingly discordant views are reconciled by the assumption that the Lord primarily meant an external following, but that this had a real symbolical significance, and was to foreshadow Peter's imitation of Christ in the death of crucifixion,—an assumption which is all the more obvious, as the whole chapter bears so pre-eminently a symbolical character. This view, represented by Grotius, will satisfy the grounds of both interpretations. The typical following would mitigate the later actual fellowship of the cross to Peter, and quell in his work all emotion of pride. In it was given to him the most emphatic memento mori.

With regard to the two points in our Lord's words of prophecy to Peter, J. Gerhard remarks: "In the first Christ sets before him His own example in feeding the flock; in the second, His own example in the endurance of death."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 21:19". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-21.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

19.Signifying by what death he should glorify God. This circumlocution is highly emphatic; for though the end held out to all believers ought to be, to glorify God both by their life and by their death, yet John intended to employ a remarkable commendation for adorning the death of those who, by their blood, seal the Gospel of Christ and glorify his name, as Paul teaches us, (Philippians 1:20.) It is now our duty to reap the fruit which the death of Peter has yielded; for it ought to be imputed to our indolence, if our faith be not confirmed by it, and if we do not keep the same object in view, that the glory of God may be displayed by us. If the Papists had considered this end in the death of the martyrs, that sacrilegious and detestable invention would never have entered into their minds, that their death contributes to appease the wrath of God, and to pay the ransom for our sins.

And when he had said this. Christ here explains what was the design of that prediction of a violent death. It was, that Peter might be prepared to endure it; as if he had said, “Since you must endure death by my example, follow your leader.” Again, that Peter may the more willingly obey God who calls him to the cross, Christ offers himself as a leader; for this is not a general exhortation by which he invites him to imitate himself, but he speaks only of the kind of death. Now, this single consideration greatly soothes all the bitterness that is in death, when the Son of God presents himself before our eyes with his blessed resurrection, which is our triumph over death.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 21:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-21.html. 1840-57.