Today’s sermon at our church in the morning was very challenging! We finished the book of John. We looked at John 21:15-24
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ 16 Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’ 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. 18 Very truly I tell you, 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.’ 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, ‘Follow me!’ 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, ‘Lord, who is going to betray you?’) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, ‘Lord, what about him?’ 22 Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.’ 23 Because of this, the rumour spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, ‘If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?’ 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
Jesus and Peter were having a conversation. That same Peter that had denied Jesus just before He was crucified. Jesus was asking him if he loved Him. Not once but 3 times Jesus asked the question: Peter, do you love me? (verses 15, 16, 17) Each time Peter answered Jesus was working on restoring him completely. He was forgiven, accepted and chosen to carry out an amazing but very hard job: to look after Jesus’s sheep (verses 15, 16,17). Peter like most of us, failed greatly in his walk of faith and trust in Jesus, yet, Jesus in his mercy and grace offered him a part in building his church here on Earth and leading His people.
Jesus being God and knowing all things also presented Peter with the reality of the task ahead! Peter was to follow Jesus – in everything. In life and in death. It would not be easy. Christian life is not easy. We may not live in a country where we are killed because we confess to be Jesus’s followers, but standing firm and trusting in Him is not always seen as a good thing. Jesus was clear to Peter though, the commitment to Him had to be complete.
Wow! It really made me think. We are to follow Jesus period. We are to follow Him no matter how hard it will be! No matter how many people will laugh at us, oppose us, hate us, we are still to follow Him. Not only that, we are not supposed to compare our lives as Christians to anybody else’s. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus. It does not matter how I have lived, how many times I have chosen to do things my way, how I have pushed Jesus away from the throne of my heart, if I LOVE Him truly and return to Him, He will restore me and use my life for His glory. How amazing is this? What love is this?