(15) So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (John 21: 15-17 KJV)
Do you want to know what is so amazing about this very moment Peter’s life? It’s the moment in which Peter is about to come into the realization of what he was called to do. You might ask yourself, well what do you mean Aqua? Hadn’t Peter realized his calling when Jesus told him that he would make him fishers of men? ( Matt 4:19). True, but in this sense it was different. Let me explain what I mean. At the time when Jesus called Peter when he was fishing with his brother it was his first introduction to Christ. It was before he started his walk with the Lord. Peter was still Peter. At this point in Peter’s walk you wouldn’t expect an immediate change that was just the first calling. That was the first glimpse of Peter realizing that he could become something more than what he was. I want for you to think back to the very first time that not only were you introduced to Jesus, but the moment that he became real and you decided to follow him. Some of you may have felt awed, some may have felt relieved, others may have felt that there is no way that God could want you because you knew who you were when Jesus told you to follow him. Ok so you have that moment in your mind. Lets shift back to Peter for a moment after this initial call from then on out Peter studied under the teachings of Jesus. He walked with him, he talked with him, Jesus personally taught him. He saw first hand the characteristics of Jesus. He witnessed the miracles, he experienced it all. Now he finds himself with Jesus asking him three times Peter do you love me?
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time Lovest thou me? (John 21:17)
We hear many theologians and preachers preach that Jesus asked Peter this question three times, because Peter denied Jesus three times. True, I don’t argue that point. Let’s however,take a look at it from Peter’s perspective. The scripture says that Peter was grieved that Jesus had to ask him three times Peter lovest thou me. No doubt was Peter thinking about that time he denied him. Do you know how hard it is to believe that God still has a plan for you after you have denied him. Especially after having had walked with him, developing a relationship with him and being taught by him. We sometimes view ourselves as being unworthy to even continue on with God when we feel as though we’ve disappointed him. This is what I want for you to get though, Jesus was not asking Peter do you love me to condemn him. Sometimes we think that the way we view ourselves after a fall is how God views us. Not true. God looks at us and sees what he purposed us to become. What Jesus was telling Peter in that moment Peter if you truly loved me then you would take everything you learned from me and you would go out and feed my people. If you loved me you would teach them my word and my ways. You would show them that I am real and you would show them my love and patience towards them . If you loved me you would care for my sheep as I have cared for you. You would forgive them and raise them up as I have done you. Jesus did not take Peter under his wing for three years for him to return to a life of fishing. Jesus did not teach Peter everything he taught him and show him the miracles, all so that Peter could sit back and watch God’s people starve from lack of understanding the word of God. In those three years that Peter walked with Jesus he was developing Peter for the moment when he would send Peter out to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I absolutely love Peter. He’s my favorite in the bible (besides Jesus/God of course) I love him because he walked with Jesus first hand and still fell. I love his story of God still using him to be mighty in the Kingdom even after the three denials, because it shows me that I can still be used for God’s glory. I may not have let the word come out of my mouth that I don’t know Jesus, but sometimes my actions said what my mouth didn’t. It said that I didn’t know Jesus because I tried to live like the world after developing a relationship with Jesus. I look over my past especially this past year alone and I think that there is no way that I should have a Christian blog putting out God’s word, but God tells me that does not matter. Aqua if you love me then feed my sheep. Some of you may feel like Peter and like me that you’re not worthy of the calling on your life because you failed after knowing Jesus and you feel guilt and shame, because you felt that you should have known better or been more faithful. So when he ask you over and over do you love him, you become grieved because you think that it’s a reminder of your mistakes. No, God invested too much time and put too much of his word in you for you not to feed his sheep so to say. Peter would not have been a mighty vessel of God if he would have spent his life wallowing in self regret and feeling unworthy of the calling that was placed upon his life before the foundations. You too have a calling I can’t tell you what it is. Seek God and he’ll reveal it but I can tell you it involves feeding his sheep in some capacity. For some of you it may be teaching/preaching his word. For others its showing hospitality, for others it could be singing songs of praise or encouraging your fellow man with uplifting words. To others it’s visiting the sick and shut in and showing compassion. Whatever it is that you were called to do take it and feed God’s sheep!