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 21:23
Gossip, rumors, inferences, innuendo. It all can be destructive. Here were believers who heard what Jesus said but interpreted it wrong.
Before we rush to criticize them, we probably should examine our own actions. Think of the times we heard something, and what you heard is not what that person actually said. In John’s case, the outcome wasn’t too bad. It’s not always like that though.
Rumors and gossip undermine the truth. Hearing things second or third hand is dangerous because it may not contain all the facts, or it could contain other elements that resemble facts. Often, when the who story comes out, it’s very different from the truth.
We must become vigilant with our tongue and ears. Like David prayed in Psalm 141:3 – “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”