There were several instances where the disciples show signs of enmeshment with each other and with others. These are times when their value gets wrapped up in the value of others.
We see this in their arguments over who is the greatest in Luke 22.
We see this in John 21 when Peter’s death is prophesied by Jesus and Peter responds by looking at John and asking, “But what about him?”
We also see this when the disciples see another man casting out demons in Luke 9:49 and tell Jesus they tried to stop him “because he is not one of us.”
Jesus diffuses these things by removing the worry. To who is the greatest – Jesus responds with a reminder that he is the one who serve (Luke 22:27). To Peter – Jesus says don’t worry about him. To the disciples who tried to step the exorcist, “Do not stop him.”
Jesus wants us to have a non-comparative discipleship. Anxiety comes into our walk with Jesus when, like Peter walking on the water, we take our eyes off Jesus and put them on other people.
We have anxiety when our questions turn from “How does Jesus see me?” to “Who is better or greater?” or “Who has better gifts (see 1 Corinthians)?” All of these questions miss the point that Jesus’ love for you isn’t based on putting ourselves up in comparison with others, rather by putting ourselves in community with others.
Then we can be free from our anxiety and worry because our eyes will be fixed on the one who frees us from anxiety and worry and we can let him worry about everyone else.