Tag: “Feed My lambs.”
Scripture reading for May 5th: John 21
“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name.” (John 20:30-31) John’s purpose was to help people know Jesus Christ as the Son of God and find eternal life. He closes his account with a final story about Jesus restoring Peter and encouraging the disciples before His ascension.
Peter and James and John plus two other disciples had decided to go out fishing. They had fished all night and had caught nothing. Early in the morning, they saw a figure on the shore who called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No!” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul in the net because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:5-6) John told Peter that it was Jesus, and Peter swam to meet Him. He asked for some of the fish, although Jesus had a fire with fish already cooking on it! Jesus was a master fisherman and The Master who fished for men!
This was the third time Jesus had appeared to these men after His resurrection. He asked, “Simon, Son of John, do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15) Peter said simply, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus then asked Peter to feed His lambs. Jesus repeated this question two more times and Peter affirmed his love for Jesus as many times as he had denied Him. Jesus then prophesied how Peter would glorify God in death and invited him to “Follow Me!” Peter would be a shepherd and a fisher of men!
Scripture reading for June 2nd: John 21:1-25
Jesus had appeared to the disciples several times. He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit and gave them authority to preach forgiveness of sins. John records that Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples which he did not record. All that he wrote were for the purpose of helping us and others believe that Jesus is the Christ and Son of the Living God so that we might receive the gift of eternal life in His Name. (John 20:31)
The last miracle recorded by John concerned a large catch of fish. Peter had decided to return to fishing, their original occupation. He and several of the other disciples had fished all night and caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore near where they were fishing and called out to them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. When they did, the net was loaded so much that they had to drag it to shore. (John 21:1-6) That’s when John recognized Jesus and told the others.
Peter jumped into the water to race to the Lord. Jesus had started a fire there and asked for some of the fish. Peter helped bring in the catch: 153 fish! Jesus invited them all to enjoy breakfast and he fed them bread and fish that He cooked! This was Jesus’ third appearance to His disciples.
After breakfast, Jesus spoke specifically to Peter, asking him three times if he loved Him. Each time Peter replied that he did love Jesus and Jesus asked him to feed His lambs. After the last reply, Jesus spoke prophetically to Peter, “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said to him, “Follow Me!” (John 21:18-19)
As Peter had denied Jesus three times, Jesus restored him with a three-fold confession of love. He also emphasized the work that Peter was to do and how he would die. The great catch would not be fish, but many souls! On Pentecost, 3000 were to be brought into Christ’s sheepfold!
Scripture reading for November 5th: John 18-21
When you are in a covenant relationship with someone, it is always good to affirm our love for that person. We go through seasons when the relationship may be strained or drifting rather than passionately connected. We go through personal trials and attacks of Satan that seek to knock us off our vows of commitment. Today we will consider Peter, one of Jesus’ most trusted disciples who denied Jesus three times after His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. (John 18:22-27)
We don’t know exactly how long after the resurrection that the account in John 21 takes place. Peter and a number of the disciples had decided to go fishing in the Sea of Tiberius (Galilee). They fished all night and by morning had nothing to show for. As they were approaching shore, Jesus stood there and called out to them. They told Him that they had no fish but didn’t recognize Him as the Lord. He told them to throw their net on the right side of the boat. When they did, they were unable to haul their net into the boat because of the great number of fish! John recognized Jesus at that point and told Peter it was Him. Peter immediately jumped into the water and came to Jesus, who had built a fire with fish already cooking and some bread for the tired fishermen. John’s account states that this was the third time Jesus appeared to them.
After Jesus served them the meal, Jesus turned to Simon Peter and asked him a question. “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15) This was repeated three times in similar fashion. Peter’s feelings were hurt because Jesus asked him this three times. (John 21:17) Jesus made a statement of prophecy to Peter about how he would die to glorify God and then called Peter to follow Him.
Jesus wants us all to affirm our love for Him on a daily basis. We can tell Him we love Him and that is well and good. Actions also show our love for Jesus. In Peter’s case, he was called to feed the lambs and sheep. A shepherd must care for the animals, and a pastor is a shepherd! Feeding lambs and sheep requires daily discipline and tender care. We must follow the ‘Good Shepherd” in order to properly feed and care for His sheep! They are His sheep, not ours! Love for Jesus is demonstrated by obedience!
A final thought concerns Peter’s death. Tradition says that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome. He chose that because he felt unworthy to die as his Lord Jesus had! Peter’s life and death brought glory to God! We must live in obedience to the Lord! “To live is Christ, to die is gain!” (Philippians 1:21)