“Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”
King James Version (KJV)
21:22 If I will that he tarry - Without dying, till I come - To judgment. Certainly he did tarry, till Christ came to destroy Jerusalem. And who can tell, when or how he died? What is that to thee? - Who art to follow me long before.
Joh 21:22 If I will that he tarry till I come. This is spoken of John, and the words have caused much discussion. They surely convey the idea that John would remain on the earth, after the other apostles depart, until the Lord came once more. He did linger long after all the other apostles were gone. It is the testimony of church history that he did not die until about the close of the first century, many years after the other apostles were at rest. He "tarried"; did the Lord come to him? At least sixty years after the Lord spoke these words John was an exile on the isle of Patmos. There on the Lord's day he writes: "I heard a great voice" (Re 1:10), and "I saw one like the Son of man" (Re 1:13), blazing in such glory that, filled with awe, he "fell at his feet as dead" (Re 1:17). Then follow these words of the Savior, the seven letters, and the visions of Revelation. Here was a visible coming and John tarried until that coming. He alone of the Twelve saw the Lord, after his ascension, once more on the earth.