Feed my sheep
Peter’s denial (x3) of Jesus last weekend (Easter) is somewhat reminiscent of Jonah’s decision to go in the opposite direction to God’s call. You may recall that God had to arrange innovative transport to get him back on track.
Peter’s choice of self-preservation over acknowledging Jesus as Lord is one we all face in one form or another every day. (No? Then I must be the only one.)
After the apparent disaster of the crucifixion, Peter, full of remorse over his denial took the only option open to him. He returned to his old life…fishing; and was unsuccessful. Until, Jesus stood on the beach and invited him to return to his first love.
Question 1) Do you love me as one loves the Father? Yes, I love you as a friend.
Question 2) Do you love me as one loves the Father? Yes, I love you as a friend.
Question 3) Do you love me as a friend? Yes, I love you as a friend.
Peter was upset by the last question as he came to understand that a casual friendship with God just won’t cut it. The Amplified Bible translates questions 1) and 2) as “Do you love Me more than these [others do—with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]?” So Peter’s answer to 1) and 2) is actually “No”.
We will only be able to fulfill Jesus’ directives to, “Feed My lambs, Shepherd My sheep and Feed My sheep”, when we understand what it means to love the Father and this we can only learn this by observing and emulating the attitude that took Jesus on that journey through Gethsemane to the Cross.
Amp Bible John 21:3-17.
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