John 21:15-17 (NKJV)
15So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
This was the very passage which I received from God when I took up the call to serve Him. Over the years, this passage has become the Word that I hold very close to my heart. When I meet with obstacles, distractions or when I lose sight of my purpose in serving Him, I always come back to this passage. I’ll meditate on it, contemplate and study every part of this passage. The Word of God never fails. The Word of God is everlasting. His Words are true yesterday, today and forevermore. Every time after I read this passage, my heart will be quickened and I always picture myself in the shoes of Peter. I imagine myself getting in the same conversation with Jesus. After which, my spirit will be lifted, my heart will be aligned to God’s heart and my mind is focused on my purpose – to evangelize and to disciple. This purpose is driven and motivated by Love, my love for Jesus.
The call that Jesus has for each one of us is similar to what He gave to Peter. Before this, Jesus in John 13:38 has predicted that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed. Indeed, in John 18:15-27, it records that Peter denied Jesus on three separate occasions. Like Peter, there are times that we may deny Jesus. It could be an outward denial of our identity in Christ. Denial of Jesus can also be expressed in the form of us not doing something we ought to do. For example, we prioritize our work, family, leisure and wealth, above Jesus. Or we see someone in need, and we know only Jesus can help him or her, but we choose to remain silent about Jesus. All these are possible forms of how we may deny Jesus. How have you denied Jesus? But regardless of how you may have denied Him, Jesus wants to restore you today just like how He restored Peter. He wants to have a relationship with you and to commune with you.
Jesus also teaches us that He is the One who will provide us with all we need. In John 21:1-14, Peter with his other friends didn’t catch anything after a long night of fishing. However upon obeying Jesus’ instruction to cast their nets on the right side, they caught so many fish that their nets almost broke. Jesus will provide, only if you trust and obey Him. He will provide everything you need to parent your child well. He will pave the way for you in your career. He will take care of and bless your family. He will provide you with the words you need to speak to the person in need. Receive this truth today – Jesus provides!
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15)
“These” that Jesus referred to may be things apart from Himself. It could be your family, career, friends and other priorities. Today, Jesus is asking you, “Do you love Me more than all the other things apart from Me?”
If your answer is “yes”, then do what Jesus has commanded. He has commanded each one of us to feed His lambs, tend His sheep and feed His sheep. Lambs may refer who are young in their faith. Teach them the Word of God. Lambs may also refer to those who have yet to know God. Evangelize to them. Share with them about the Good News of Jesus. Live out the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. Tend and feed His sheep, disciple someone today. Teach them all the commandments of God. This calling is for each and every one of us.
If today, your love for things apart from God is greater than your love for God, then go back to the first and the Greatest Commandment from Matthew 22:27-28, “Jesus said…, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” It is a commandment from God to love Him. If your heart towards God has turned cold or lukewarm, come back into His presence. Learn from Mary, to sit at the feet of Jesus. Communicate with God through your prayer and worship. Surrender your life to Him once again.
Let us pray together.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I love You. I love You more than Your provision and Your blessings. I surrender my life and my heart to You. I thank You that You are the God who provides. As I take care of the things of Yours, everything else in my life will fall into place. I commit my life to You to be used as a vessel to evangelize and to disciple. I willingly and lovingly feed and tend Your precious lambs and sheep. Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ loving Name I pray, AMEN!”