Between a Shepherd and His Lambs
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.”
Yesterday we started talking about the deeper points of the after breakfast discussion between Jesus and Peter. Knowing that Peter couldn’t match Jesus’ in depth of love we look at Jesus’ request of Peter.
The first thing we need to notice is that even though Peter couldn’t say he would love Jesus in the “all in” way, Jesus still knew that Peter did love Him enough to obey and so Jesus tells Peter the first thing He wants him to do, feed His lambs.
Jesus called Himself the Great Shepherd. He knew Himself to be the leader and protector of His “sheep”, His people. Jesus knew that His time on earth was getting short and He wasn’t going to leave His people without a leader. Jesus would of course be giving the Holy Spirit to be the helper of His people but He wanted someone with skin on to help establish the physical Church.
Jesus’ request of Peter to feed His lambs wasn’t just a way of telling Peter that he was still on Jesus’ team. This was a gentle command for Peter to take up the needed responsibility of building the Church as was Christ’s plan for him from the very beginning. Remember the name change from Simon (meaning listen) to Peter (meaning rock). This wasn’t a random name change nor was a formal name change. If you will notice Jesus calls Peter by his given name of Simon during this discussion. Since we know that Jesus wasn’t careless with His words, we can know that He had a reason for this choice.
Jesus is calling Peter to listen and obey. It is like He is saying, “Peter, I need you to listen up because I have a job for you to do.” This job was no small task as it included dealing with the birth of the Church. It would include preaching to over 3000 people at once. That was a huge change from casting nets for fish. Jesus was also calling Peter as deep into the Great Commission as a person could possibly go. He was to be guiding the leaders of the Church to make sure they kept Christ’s mission first and foremost as they continued building a following for Christ. He was to feed the lambs. The least of the flock.
Jesus knows that we all fall short in our ability to love Him but He also has things for us to do. He calls us just as He called Peter and He expects us to obey in what He calls us too. It may seem like a daunting task – it did for Peter also – but we aren’t in the work alone. We just need to obey.
Making It Personal
How deep is your love for the Father? How far are you willing to obey Him? What do you need to obey Him about today?
Making It Personal Kids
How much does Jesus love us? How much do you love Jesus? What is something you think Jesus wants you to do today?
Father, thank You for still wanting to use us when we don’t think we can give what You are asking of us. Thank You for calling us to work for Your kingdom. Give us wisdom and courage to obey You always. In Jesus’ name, amen.