Tag: feed sheep

“Do you love Me?”

Scripture reading for November 21st: Ezra 1-2, John 21

John 21: 15-17 “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord you know everything; You know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. . . .”

Peter had been an impetuous disciple known for rash outbursts and impulsive responses. When Jesus said that one of the disciples would betray Him, Peter swore He would remain faithful, even to death. Jesus responded: “before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” This indeed was what happened. Now, as Jesus set about restoring Peter, He asked him three times, “Do you love Me?”. Peter responded simply with “Yes Lord” two times then declared that Jesus knew everything. Jesus’ response to Peter was a reiteration of His mission to feed and tend Jesus’ sheep and follow Him.

John 21:20-22 “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who also had leaned back against Him during the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “What about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is My will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for restoring those who slip up in following You. Your mercy and kindness lead Peter to repentance and many others, including myself. Thank You that You alone know everything and see every heart and restore and stir up Your people to accomplish the mission You give of reaching the lost and building up Your house with living stones out of the rubble of sin and death. I will follow You.

Ezra 1:5 “Then rose up the heads of the father’s houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem.”

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“Do you love Me?”

Scripture reading for November 3rd: 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. (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.  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!  At that point, John recognized Jesus and told Peter.  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 wants us all to affirm our love for Him on a daily basis.  We can tell Him we love Him,  but obedience demonstrates the reality of our love.  In Peter’s case, he was called to feed the lambs and sheep.   For us, we must spend time listening, praying and reading His word.  Then obey what He shows us!

A final thought concerned 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 had!  “To live is Christ, to die is gain!” (Philippians 1:21)

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