John 21:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 21:19, NIV: Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, 'Follow me!'

John 21:19, ESV: (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

John 21:19, KJV: This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

John 21:19, NASB: Now He said this, indicating by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had said this, He *said to him, 'Follow Me!'

John 21:19, NLT: Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, 'Follow me.'

John 21:19, CSB: He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. After saying this, he told him, "Follow me."

What does John 21:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus poetically asked Peter to affirm his love three times (John 21:15–17), after Peter denied knowing Jesus three times (John 13:36–38; Luke 22:61–62). When Jesus first called Peter, it was just after miraculously providing an enormous catch of fish (Luke 5:5–11). Here, after a similar miracle (John 21:4–8), Jesus will again restore Peter's calling as an apostle.

In the prior verse, Jesus used a descriptive parallel. In youth, Peter could dress himself and walk where he chose, but in death he would be dressed and led by others, with outstretched hands. As this verse notes, Jesus has predicted how Peter would die: by crucifixion. Awful as that may be, it is also a prediction that Peter's restored faith would never fail again. He would make mistakes (Galatians 2:11–14), but never deny Christ, even in the face of his own death.

Church tradition affirms that Peter was crucified. Further details suggest he asked to be hung upside down, symbolic of his inferiority to Jesus. That prediction will make Peter curious about his fellow disciples, leading to the question he asks in the next verses (John 21:20–21).