“I love you Jesus!”. “You know I love you with all my heart”. “Nothing can ever replace my love for you Lord”.
Beautiful words indeed. These are some of the words that comes out of our lips daily as christians. Lovely words expressing our love for our master. I love telling Him these too. I love to let Him know how much I love Him. I know He loves seeing me lavish my love on Him.
Love is an action word. It is followed by an action. “For God so loved the world that He gave……” (John 3:16). The giving is the action that followed the love of God for us.
I love my husband and kids. So I give my strength, resources, time and other things I can give to them. Love that doesn’t come with an action isn’t actually love. I can’t feel loved by you if you are always verbalising it but never doing anything to back up your words.
An overview of Peter in the bible shows he loved Jesus. The bible records he was one of the closest to Jesus. He was in the inner circle of Jesus’ friends. He was one of the three (Peter, James and John). For him to have been taken into the inner circle, I would like to think that he has proved himself to an extent that he was fit for that position.
However after peter’s closest friend (Jesus) got separated from him as a result of death, Peter got distracted. Probably now it became evident that he needed to fend for himself. The bills to be paid became clear since the miracle worker has left the scene. Peradventure he needed to support his family and he needed some income to do this. So just like many of us would do, he went back to do what he felt he knew how to do best. He went back to fishing. This was the same profession Jesus called him out from.
How often do we run back to what we have been called out from when things are hard. It kind of makes more sense to go back to the known instead of diving into the unknown isn’t it?
Well no! I wrote about this in one of my previous post. Click here if you want to read it. But for now let’s continue talking about Peter.
So Jesus resurrected and discovered that his bestie has gone back to fishing. He appeared to them by the Sea of Galilee. They managed to realise he was the one. Jesus asked for them to bring some of the fishes they caught so they could have a meal together. After the meal I thought Jesus was going to tell them about how He fought death and Satan and arose with power and how God has given a name above others names and other good stuff He has accomplished. But He said something different.
“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.” 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.” 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.”
John 21:15-17 NIV
“Do you love me more than these?”
Surprised Jesus asked Peter this question even after Peter has spent so much time with Him. I am sure Jesus asked this because of the request He was going to make.
It’s good to love God. But do you love Him more than everything? Are you willing to sacrifice everything for the love of God? Do you love God more than TV, social media, family, job, wealth, comfort? TV and social media may get a quick yes however it’s one of the time consuming things that pulls us away from God these days. We complain we do not have time but we will be amazed at the hours we spend on TV and social media. They rob us of our time. I have realised that our lack of spending time with God isn’t because we don’t have the time to fit Him into our lives but it’s because we lack the desire to seek Him.
Jesus was so interested in the souls He died for that He made Peter realise that there was no better way to prove his love other than to cater for the souls He was leaving behind.
I feel this is the best way to prove our love for Jesus. Jesus repeated this three times just for Peter to realise how important this assignment was.
Feed my lamb.
Take care of my sheep.
Feed my sheep.
This makes me wonder if we are feeding the sheep these days or if we starving them? If yes, we are feeding the sheep, then what are we feeding them with? Are we feeding them with the right food? Are they malnourished? When God looks down on the sheep He has given you, does He see well nourished sheep?
The task of feeding the sheep of Jesus is a huge one. The sheep are the people of the world. They need to be fed the word of God. The word of God is the only thing that can convict man of sin. Motivational talks might benefit the flesh but does nothing to the spirit. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).
The second time, Jesus said “take care of my sheep”.
Macmillan dictionary explains taking care of someone as making certain that they have everything they need.
So we don’t just feed people with the word of God. We are to ensure that we are there for them too. We are to assist them through the growing process until they get to maturity. We are to encourage them, give to them, pray for/with them. We don’t only give our words, but also our resources. This is the best way to prove we love God. Feeding and taking care of the sheep is the best thing to do for God.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”. (Matthew 25:40).
The time is short. We need to do the work of our master now. Souls are daily per second. Don’t delay. Rise up and work!