Thursday – March 24, 2016
Day 44 – John 21:15-25
Focus: vs. 17
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
Have you ever had this kind of discussion with someone, maybe with one or more of your children after they had in some way been disobedient? Probably not, at least not just like this. I remember sitting down with each of my children at one time or another and trying to get at whether or not they knew what they did was wrong and when they finally admitted it could then forgive them and reinstate them into my presence. I never told them I didn’t love them but would let them know I didn’t love what they had done. When I felt they understood that what they had done was wrong. I would accept their confession and let them know I still loved them. Sometimes, I even had to let them know I loved them before their admission. Never did I want them to feel they were not loved. I think this is what Jesus was doing with Peter in our passage for today.
Jesus’ whole intent was to reinstate Peter to full fellowship with Him. Peter had denied Jesus three times during His trial before the High Priest so he was given three opportunities to declare his allegiance to his Lord. Near the ending of my Tuesday devotional I mentioned the last verse of this passage so that is not the focus of this one. Today’s focus is on Peter not only being reinstated by Jesus but being made aware of his responsibilities to others on behalf of his Master. Jesus’ interest was in Peter’s relationship with his fellow followers of Christ. Basically it was, “If you love me . . . then,” Jesus told Peter – “feed my sheep . . . feed my lambs . . . feed my sheep.” Peter was to show concern and love for the flock of God. There is more that could be said but this is the focus we have for today. Jesus knew Peter was a leader/pastor and his responsibility was to the sheep of God’s pasture. Peter needed to know this as well. His expression of love for Christ was to be found in his expression of that love toward others. Isn’t that true of all of us? If we are true followers of Christ we will love one another. It is not a superficial love but one that goes deep and where we even feel the hurt of those around us.
Prayer Focus: Lord Jesus, help me to be more of a sheep lover than I have ever been. Give me Your compassion and concern for others because I have been broken and made obedient for You. AMEN.