Scripture: John 21:
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.
Observation: Ministering to God’s people is the best way to show your love for Him.
Application: Peter had made some mistakes, he failed to watch and pray, he denied knowing Jesus at His trial, and he ran away in fear for his own life. Jesus knew that in spite of Peter’s weaknesses he loved Him. Yet He asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” When Peter told Him that he loved Him, He said “Feed my sheep.” This is how we show God that we love Him, by ministering to His people.
Peter was a special person, personally commissioned by Christ to be one of the founders of the Church, but this commission of ministering is not only for Peter, it’s for all of us. Pastors may have a different calling than some, but we all have a job to do for The Kingdom of God. Each of us are given opportunities to show our love to God by reaching out to those in need.
I know I’ve made mistakes in the past, I know I’ve missed many opportunities, I’ve fallen short in my ministry and in my witness many times, but that doesn’t mean God has given up on me, nor does it mean my work is done. Peter had problems, but Jesus saw beyond those things into his heart and said “I’m not done with you yet Peter – Get out there and finish your work, feed my sheep.” (liberal paraphrase)
I can’t let my mistakes and failures bog me down and make me feel useless. As each new day dawns, there are new opportunities for me to show my love for God by feeding the sheep. It doesn’t matter what position you may hold in life, or where you are financially, socially, emotionally, or even spiritually because God can still use you right now.
After all that’s happened, after all the stones have toppled over and all the walls have fallen down God still desires a service of love from each of us. Feeding the sheep may be a prayer, it may be lending a hand to carry groceries to a car, it may be helping someone fix a flat tire, it may be any of thousands of possible scenarios, but it’s always about showing love compassion and acceptance.
Prayer: Yes Lord – I love you! Help me to take every opportunity I get to feed your sheep.